Elisha’s young servant was in a panic. His mouth was dry, his hands were sweaty, and his heart was threatening to pound out of his chest. The prophet Elisha had repeatedly interfered with the Arameans’ military plans against Israel, and now a great army sent by the king of Aram was at Dothan to seize Elisha (2 Kings 6:14)
The sight of the fierce warriors, horses, and chariots surrounding the city impressed Elisha’s servant with the apparent hopelessness of the situation. No humanly possible way of escape suggested itself. The young man cried out, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15). After encouraging his servant not to worry, Elisha made a request of God: “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” And when God opened the young man’s eyes, he saw the mountain “full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (v. 17).
we ever identify with this young man’s panicky feelings? No foreign army is invading the United States, and yet the distresses and uncertainties of everyday life may hem us in and make us afraid of the future. The panic trigger may be a lost job, a stack of unpaid bills, rapidly shrinking retirement savings, the out-of-control behavior of a grown child, the pain of being victimized by a criminal, the death of a loved one, a divorce, a terrifying medical diagnosis, or the moral decline of our nation. “Do not be afraid,” Elisha told his young companion, “for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16).
Elisha’s servant was right about one thing. There was no humanly possible way to escape from the Arameans. But he had forgotten about God – until his eyes were opened. Lord, when we feel panicky, please open our eyes too!