Seeing Blessings

Symptoms of my mental illness are becoming apparent during this time of isolation and canceled plans. I’m afraid to make plans because of the uncertainty. Not having events or adventures to look forward to is a sure catalyst to depression for me.

Having an attitude that nothing I plan will come to pass makes me angry – at Covid-19, at the government, at those not cooperating with health protection orders, and ultimately at God. I’m trying to remember that even if my plans are unfulfilled, God’s plans can never be thwarted. As each day passes it becomes more of a struggle.

My failure to look at the situation as part of God’s plan, a plan I do not understand, leaves me doubting that God’s promises will be fulfilled. Quite possibly that dims my vision to the possible blessings and little miracles God is working in my life and in the world every day.

There is a dramatic description of where doubting God will get us in 2 Kings 7. There was a great famine due to the Syrian army laying siege on the capital of Israel. This famine had even led to cannibalism. Food was so scarce that having money meant nothing because there was nothing to buy. In verses 1-2, the prophet Elisha comes before the king and says that within 24 hours, food will be so plentiful that it will be inexpensive to buy and all the people will be satisfied. However, one of the king’s advisors, without being corrected by the king, scoffed at Elisha:

“The servant on whose arm the king was leaning answered the man of God: ‘Why, this couldn’t happen even if Adonai made windows in heaven!'”

God’s judgment on this man’s unbelief was ironic.

Elisha answered, “All right, you yourself will see it with your own eyes; but you won’t eat any of it!”

The rest of the chapter tells the story of four men who were outcasts and while food was scarce for those within the city walls, there was absolutely nothing for these men banned outside the city walls. They decided to risk being killed by the Syrian troops rather than starving to death, and went to the Syrian camp. They found the camp empty of people but all their goods were left behind (God had confused the Syrians and they had run for their lives out of their minds). The four outcasts started gathering and hiding what they could, but then they realized that not telling the king about this good fortune would probably lead to their deaths.

When the king heard (he thought it was a Syrian trick at first), he placed the servant who doubted God at the gates to conduct traffic. True to Elisha’s words, he saw the abundance, but what Elisha had said,

. . . is exactly what happened to him, because the people trampled him down in the gateway, so that he died (vs. 20).

When we doubt God’s promises, we may also miss out on the blessings. This helps change my attitude, for the moment. I will continue to try and believe.

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