verb: forming a circle around, encompassing; enclosing on all sides
“…The eyes of the young man were opened and he saw. A wonder! The whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha!” 2 Kings 6:17
What surrounds you today? What things are closing in all around you no matter which way you turn?
Most of us can name several tough things, good things, ordinary things, and a few unexpected things. The stuff of life presses in. Often it gets to be too much, too close, too tight… and it feels like we can’t breathe.
In the book of 2nd Kings, Elisha–God’s prophet– was surrounded (literally) by the army of the King of Aram. During the night, the enemy troops had positioned themselves all around the city where Elisha and his people were camped. When the young servant of Elisha got up and peeked out of his tent in the morning, all he could see was an imposing wall of Aram’s horses and chariots ready to close in. He was terrified. He looked to his master asking, “What shall we do?”
Elisha told him not to worry. And then he said the most surprising words that I love to hold onto...
“…there are more on our side than on their side.”
But his loyal servant was confused, still fearful. All he could see was the enemy everywhere he looked.
So Elisha prayed. He asked God to open his servant’s eyes and help him to see. And then we get to read this verse to encourage and strengthen our hearts:
“…The eyes of the young man were opened and he saw. A wonder! The whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha!”
God’s presence is sometimes hard for us to see. But this story reminds us that he is right there with us–surrounding and protecting us, closer than we realize. Closer than our enemies. Closer than our anxious thoughts. Closer than our stress and struggles. Closer than our tears.
When all we can see is the attacking army, let’s remember what Elisha told his worried servant:
There are more on our side than on their side.
Maybe we can breathe after all…
Invite him in:
Ask Jesus to help you to see him, to feel him surrounding you. He is right there with his strength, peace, hope, wisdom, and more love than you have ever known. Everything you need to fight your battles is all around–a wall of protection between you and them. He is more. He is closer. He will win. And you can breathe.