Walking Through Waters of Trial with God's Word

2 Kings 2:13-14
He 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.

After crossing the Jordan, His miracle-performing mentor had left him. Now with a crowd of skeptics gathering, how was Elisha going to cross back over that Jordan River without his mentor? The pressure was on. Many times, we find ourselves in situations where no one can rescue us. We can be surrounded by skeptics who are quick to see if we will fall. In fact, all who serve God will occasionally find themselves in these situations. What should be our response? A casual reading of the remainder of the passage will show that Elisha cried out, walked to Elijah's mantle, picked it up, walked to the river bank, and then before the skeptics, cried out to God, slapped the water with it, and walked across, gaining the full respect of the formerly skeptical crowd!

But if we dig deeper, we realize this "mantle" was more than just a leather belt. It also represented "authority" and all that Elisha had been taught by his mentor. We then learn that, in times of testing, we are to (1) Go to the Word for comfort, (2) Walk with the Word for direction, and (3) Trust in the Word for deliverance. When we turn to God's Word in times of crises, it can lead us to the river bank, where God will make a way for us to demonstrate His power in our lives. Had Elisha not bent down (humility) to pick up the mantle (God's Word), and walked with it, he would have never returned to that bank where God was ready to perform His miracle. And had he not trusted it (at the risk of looking foolish if the waters didn't part) he would have never enjoyed the power of God.

As a missionary to the Philippines, I have been through many trials. But every time I trusted His Word, the path opened up for me. And when I walked across, God's power was displayed and those who witnessed it had their faith increased. Feel alone? Going through a trial? See no way out? Let's not get ourselves overwhelmed with circumstances, but overwhelmed with His Word.

~ Mike Mislan
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