Don’t Leave Me

Today we travel back to a time in the Old Testament to observe the close relationship between Elijah, the great prophet, and his apprentice Elisha. I once served in a church that had a youth program called “The Elijah Project.” It paired youth with willing adults in our congregation with the intention of one-on-one mentoring. The project lasted about six months and mentors were instructed to be in touch with their students at least once a week. Some of those relationships lasted well beyond the scope of the program. At the end, we held a banquet where youth and their partners got to share their stories. One of the adult partners stood up at the banquet and hobbled over to the mic on crutches. He had broken his ankle while inline skating with his mentee. Now that’s dedication!

You will see in the following passage that the relationship between Elijah and Elisha is more than just mentor-mentee. Indeed, there is an intimacy here that sounds more like a father-son relationship. Anyone who has lost a loved one will be able to relate to the urgency of Elisha’s responses to Elijah’s imminent departure.

2 Kings 2 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Not long before the Lord took Elijah up into heaven in a strong wind, Elijah and Elisha were leaving Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “The Lord wants me to go to Bethel, but you must stay here.”

Elisha replied, “I swear by the living Lord and by your own life that I will stay with you no matter what!” And he went with Elijah to Bethel.

A group of prophets who lived there asked Elisha, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take away your master?”

“Yes, I do,” Elisha answered. “But don’t remind me of it.”

Who among us, knowing that someone we love is dying, hasn’t said the same thing? Like Elisha, we cry out “I will go with you until the end, but don’t leave me.” We resist hearing that our loved one is soon to depart, for the pain is too much to bear. We don’t want to be reminded of it.

Elijah then said, “Elisha, now the Lord wants me to go to Jericho, but you must stay here.”

Elisha replied, “I swear by the living Lord and by your own life, that I will stay with you no matter what!” And he went with Elijah to Jericho.

A group of prophets who lived there asked Elisha, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take away your master?”

“Yes, I do,” Elisha answered. “But don’t remind me of it.”

Elijah then said to Elisha, “Now the Lord wants me to go to the Jordan River, but you must stay here.”

Elisha replied, “I swear by the living Lord and by your own life that I will never leave you!” So the two of them walked on together.

We will finish the story in tomorrow’s devotional, but for now, ponder this: everyone you know is dying right now. Everyone you know has accomplished one more day on earth and is moving toward that certain day when they will leave you or you will leave them.

How will you spend this time together? Will you make extra efforts to be present with them…and not just physically present, but emotionally present, spiritually present, present in giving your full attention to them…or are you looking at your phone?

Having lost both my parents, I can tell you that I wish I had been more present. I wish I had more time. But what I can do now is make the extra effort to be with the rest of those whom I love.

God calls us into HIS presence every day. Are you paying attention to him, fully aware of his presence as you go about your tasks, or are you distracted by worldly things?

Time is running short. Don’t miss a minute to be with people you love. It’s time to re-prioritize.

Basking in His Presence by Michelle Robertson

2 comments

  1. Pat Piland · 19 Days Ago

    Always enjoy reading and then contemplating the Water’s Edge with Betsy every day. Thanks my friend.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

    • Betsy · 19 Days Ago

      Thank you for reading them, Pat!

      Like

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