Hitting your reset button – (part one)

This is the first of a two-part article about embracing a positive attitude towards change and finding opportunities for personal growth.

This theme reminds me of 2 Kings 2 – a chapter that impacted me greatly at the start of the year. It describes Elijah’s dramatic departure for heaven, as well as the significant impact it had on Elisha, his assistant. We read, “…. the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, (2) Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So, they went down to Bethel.” Elijah, who repeated this same request three times, was refused by Elisha every time. He must have had an inkling that something significant was coming and he was determined not to lose out!

But why was Elijah attempting to leave Elisha behind? It could be that God, who was on the verge of radically changing Elisha’s life forever, wanted to put his determination and readiness to step into a higher dimension to the test. In this we hear clear echoes of many different passages in the Bible, e.g., Psalm 107:9 “…he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” We must be thirsty and hungry before we can be satisfied.

We read in vs 7, 8 that they miraculously crossed the Jordan River on dry ground after Elijah hit the water with his cloak. By this time, Elisha knew better what was about to occur, courtesy of the company of younger prophets, and we read in vs 9, 10, “When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’ ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied. (10) ‘You have asked a difficult thing,’ Elijah said, ‘yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.’” We all know what happened next: “As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. (12) Elisha saw this and cried out, ‘My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!’ And Elisha saw him no more.”

Upon reading this chapter in the past, my attention always shifted quickly to Elisha picking up Elijah’s cloak where it fell, hitting Jordan’s water on his return journey, and becoming a great prophet, doing twice as many documented miracles as Elijah did – thirty-two compared to sixteen. However, upon reading it this time, I was immediately struck by something else: before Elisha picked up his mentor’s cloak, he did something else in vs 12, 13 “…he took hold of his garment and tore it in two. (13) Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.”

I suddenly saw what was happening. Elisha did not rush to pick up the cloak, thereby adding the double portion anointing he’d asked for. He first took the time to tear his old clothes in half – i.e., the very things that made him recognizable to others as Elijah’s servant. By destroying his clothes, he was saying goodbye to his previous identity. This was a vital step that enabled him to be clothed with the new cloak and all it represented – the new gifts, position, status, and responsibilities.

I will continue exploring this interesting topic in the September blog.

Until next time,

Dr. Jurie Vermeulen


Tags :
Share This :

3 Responses

  1. This lesson is tantalizing, as it speaks to my, and surely many others’, need to tear the old cloak. Anticipating the second part.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recent Posts

Our Magazine

Radius Magazine – Issue #2
Radius Magazine – Version #3
Radius Magazine – Issue #4