Either you know it or you don’t.
Sometimes you wish you didn’t.
Sometimes we don’t want to know what we do, but we do. Sometimes we know the worst is ahead. Sometimes we pre-mourn when we should live in the present. And I am speaking not just about losing loved ones, but also processing losses of any thing or any circumstance, of changing situations, hopes, our dreams for others, or whatever circumstances make us sad for the past.
Prophet Elisha got it, knew what was happening, so he especially DIDN’T want to hear about it. He and often we, are “pre-grieving” losses. Prophet Elisha knew Prophet Elijah would be taken away from him. His friend mentor father-figure, co-worker for the Lord, his stability, his KNOWN. Elijah’s time had come.
Elisha said to all the “Captain Obvious” prophets: “Hold your peace.” (King James translation sounds so much better than NIV, where Elisha said: “Stay silent”). I imagine this was a snarky snap. Modern versions might speak like us and say: “SHUT YOUR TRAP!” – or perhaps this was spoken under his breath. Elisha didn’t want to hear repeatedly what every prophet knew: that his master Elijah was going to be taken up to Heaven, gone. Not lost but gone. Vanished in a whirlwind. Poof.
Elisha didn’t want Elijah to go. He was pre-greiving. Elisha didn’t even want to be separated from him. But when the Lord says it’s your time, it really is. None of us want to be parted from our loved ones. None of us seem ready to go either. How blessed Elijah was to “simply” be taken up with chariots of fire rather than die a cruel painful death. That’s us too. When we go it could be much more painful (in heartbreak) for those left behind than it will be for us. People say “ah, it’s better for them to pass” – but it’s still SO painful to us left behind. We need to pick up their work as well as do our grieving. We can tear ourselves up about it, like Elisha did, yet God gently says: keep moving.
Elisha witnessed what he wanted to know would happen at the same time he didn’t want it to happen. Elisha was given prophecy and power, we are given GOD’S PEACE. We know God is on control. We are given GOD’S PEACE.
Mourning, there is no certain time required for it. It is different for everyone. Clearly it seems that it’s better to talk about it than not. Elisha also was asked again and again if his gifted attendants wanted them to go look for Elijah dropped off on a hill, anywhere. He said no, but they insisted, so he let them look. It was certain in Elisha’a mind that Elijah was gone, but this looking by the others, no stone left unturned, no mountain not searched, was part of their mourning process, likely, and certainly part of their zealous desire to help Elisha thru His. People don’t always know what we need or hear, but they do mean well. We DO need to let others process the way the do. We also need to let ourselves process our own grief. Go to the mountains sure, but best give it to the Lord.
Once an elderly lady was in line with me at the dollar store, she unburdened something bothering her, and I was appointed listener by proxy. It was good she was able to speak freely, and even said she didn’t know why she felt so free to speak of something so painful. It involved her husband’s death and family issues before they got married like 50 years prior. It bugged her. She said thanks to me for listening. I was not burdened with it, nor even remember details now, but I do remember she said it takes a while to grieve. She said one day you realize you have moved forward, you have healed just that little bit more.
I believe the Lord is always telling us to be ready for His healing as well as His Plan.
In the end, what did Elisha ask the Lord for? He asked for wisdom and for a double portion of spirit. He got to be there when it happened. He saw with hisvown eyes the movement of the Lord. He gasped in pain, but knew the truth. We also must face the truth of our pain. Know of course that the Lord is granting PEACE. We will get thru it.
The Lord finds us peace, He knows how to give it, when we are ready to see, know, hear, feel it.
2nd King 2:1-18
And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.
And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.
And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
1He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not.
And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?