So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city.
When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. (NLT)
It is very easy for us to think we are being overwhelmed. That the forces of darkness arrayed against us are winning. What we immediately hear and see seems to support the fact that we are in big trouble.
The enemies of Elisha and of God seemed strong. So many men and horses and chariots. Looked at from one perspective, all seemed lost. But what was immediately apparent did not tell the whole story. This episode reminds us that beyond such immediate reality there is another reality. Enemy forces are strong, but God’s forces are even stronger.
We can succumb to gloom and defeatism as we consider the state of the world. We don’t combat that by pious denial, pretending all is well. All is not well. But God will win: his kingdom will come in its fullness one day. Till then, we enjoy partial victory, painful defeat, solid promises, and puzzling setbacks.
Perhaps we need to pray daily for discernment that will have us open our eyes to the larger and deeper reality. Behind the scenes, in what we might call the heavenly realms, God is at work. We are not losers, pathetically misguided souls who have backed the wrong deity. Despite appearances, we are on the winning side.