Crossing Into New Territory
“Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.”
- 2 Kings 2:6-8
Transitions can be quite challenging! Human nature tends toward safety, predictability, and control. Transitions in life have a way of kicking us out of that comfortable known into the discomfort of the unknown. For Elijah and Elisha this would be a day of big transitions! In all the uncertainty and unpredictability, Elisha faithfully stayed by Elijah’s side; all Elisha knew was the Elijah would be taken from him on that very day. How would his master be taken and what would become of him once Elijah was gone – those were the uncertainties.
Looking ahead expectantly, Elijah walked with focus and intentionality. He, too, knew the Lord would take him that day. As they came upon the Jordan river, Elijah didn’t pause to ask how he would get beyond the river. He simply rolled up his mantle, struck the water, and he and Elisha walked right through the Jordan to the other side. Maybe Elijah was thinking back to Moses and how God split the Red Sea so his people could walk through or how Joshua was called to part the Jordan river so that the nation of Israel could pass through to the Promised land. At this point in his life and ministry, Elijah knew with certainty of the Lord’s power and provision. Instead of questioning what to do, Elijah proceeded in the power of the Spirit.
Without fully understanding what laid ahead on the other side of the Jordan, Elijah walked on trusting that God would continue to reveal the next step. Maybe he looked forward to his transition from this life to the next or maybe he just trusted that God’s ways were always good, even when they could not be fully known or understood. Elijah walked confidently towards his transition while Elisha walked alongside of him.
How do you approach the inevitable transitions of life? Do you become fearful and anxious longing to stay in what you know? Or do you entrust yourself to the God who makes the way before you? Transitions can be great opportunities to grow in faith. If God calls us to cross through the waters of transition, we can trust that what is on the other side is good because he is good. The transition may not be easy, but just as the Lord led Elijah so will he lead you. Reflection:
Are you in a time for transition? If so, what does the Lord want you to know in this season? If not, what have you learned about yourself and about the Lord through past seasons of transition?