I Kings 22:50; 2 Kings 2:1-25, 3:4-47, 8:16-29; 2 Chronicles 21:4-20, 22:1-6
God was going to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, and it seems everyone knew it. Wherever Elisha and Elijah went, prophets would give Elisha the news as though Elisha didn’t know what was happening himself. And Elisha’s response was always:
I don’t want to talk about it.
Sometimes things happen in our lives that are hard. Sometimes the signs are there that things are going to get worse up ahead. And sometimes we just don’t want to talk about it. What good would talking about it do, anyway? Right?
The Bible doesn’t record much of the conversation between the two prophets as they made their way to what would be Elijah’s last moment on earth. I hope as they walked that road together they said everything that needed to be said between them. I hope Elisha asked the questions that were on his mind, that Elijah gave his protege last words of wisdom and encouragement. I even hope they talked about what they were feeling.
The men knew God was going to come for Elijah, so they had plenty of time to say the things they wanted to say. But that isn’t always the case, is it? Sometimes we aren’t at the bedside of a loved one slowly dying. Sometimes we have no warning, no people telling us God is going to come for our loved one today. Sometimes our opportunity to say those things on our hearts is gone forever.
We don’t know for sure if Elisha took advantage of the knowledge that Elijah was going to heaven that day. The only thing we know for sure is that he didn’t want to talk about it with the other prophets. I only hope Elisha and Elijah didn’t waste the chance to say to each other what was on their minds and hearts.
I hope the same for each of us. Are there things you need to say to someone today? We don’t know if they will breathe their last breath before the day is done. We don’t know how life will change today, maybe a irreversible change. Let me encourage all of us to make that visit or pick up that phone and share what’s on our hearts while we still have the opportunity.
And may I suggest that you talk about your feelings, too. Those can be the most difficult conversations because it leaves us raw, exposed, vulnerable. But refusing to talk about how we are feeling can cause lasting damage, much more devastating than the immediate pain of getting those feelings out.
If you find it impossible to talk to that person about the things on your heart, and how you feel about it, find someone you can talk to. We need to say the words sometimes. We need to identify the feelings and admit to them. Ignoring them, or denying them, or minimizing them is never the answer.
Above all, say those things to God in prayer. I have found that when I just lay it out there, when I actually whisper those words of frustration, anger, confusion, bitterness, sadness, or whatever I’m feeling at the moment, brings a bit of release. I’m not bearing that burden on my own. The burden doesn’t always go away. But there is comfort in knowing Someone has put a bit of the load on His own shoulders.
What do you need to say to someone today? Do it. Talk about it.