I remember when receiving a bag of coal for Christmas would have been considered a punishment and receiving a pair of socks would have been boring. 20+ years later (and with a real feel temperature of -6c last night*) I’d be delighted if someone treated me to coal **and socks***. A change in perspective determines how you respond to your circumstances!
Rising with the dawn light he dressed, went to the door, and closed his eyes as he breathed in his first lungful of sweet morning air. Opening his eyes, the servant’s peace evaporated as he saw them: rows of soldiers surrounding the city, their horses snorting and stomping, eager to pull their chariots. The city was completely surrounded. From his perspective, escape was impossible, never mind victory.****
Perspective: the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship.*****
The data you have only makes sense when it’s placed in the context of a meaningful relationship with the fullness of reality.
Elisha could feel his servant’s fear, but he didn’t share in it. His perspective differed. He prayed that God would open his servant’s eyes to see the situation not just in relation to the natural world he could physically see, but also in relation to the hidden supernatural world.
With the next blink the servant could still see the enemy forces spread out from the city wall into the surrounding hills, but that was no longer all. Now, beyond the malignant hordes, the servant could see thousands of God’s angelic warriors riding chariots of fire, easily outnumbering the enemy. His dread turned to hope and celebration.
Later on, the king of Aram mobilised his entire enemy against the city of Israel’s king causing a famine and the people despaired yet again. This time, God didn’t open the eyes of the Israelites, He opened the ears of the Aramite army and they could hear, “the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, ‘Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!’”******
As their perspective shifted, so did their behaviour and they fled, leaving their tents, horses, belongings for the Israelites to enjoy!
What circumstances do you find yourself in right now? Do you see that coal as a punishment or a blessing?
I pray that God would open your eyes to see your world as He does!
*According to Accuweather.com at about 10pm last night.
**We have a little wood stove in our house, which is a real treat! On my days off (especially cold rainy ones like today) I love to light a big fire, make a pot of tea using our red, new-to-us, stove top kettle, and do very little of anything.
***After years of having to wear black socks for work, I’ve never really gotten out of the habit. A work manager once said that black socks were less work because you didn’t have to match them. I still match them according to type because they differ in softness and thickness and the (very small) OCD part of me freaks out about mismatched socks. Maybe it’s time for some new colour in my sock life? Feel free to treat me to some for Christmas! 😉
****2 Kings 6:15
*****dictionary.com definition number 6
******2 Kings 7:6