Read: 2 Kings 6:8-17; Genesis 45:1-8; Genesis 50:14-21
My husband enjoys creating useful and beautiful things with his hands, and now that the garden is resting until spring, it is time for indoor projects. Right now, one of the things he is doing is making a surprise Christmas gift for me. My blindness, during this process, presents me with an interesting opportunity. Why? Because my husband can do his work in the same room where I am, and I can't observe the many details of his craftsmanship that are hidden from my eyes. Kind of strange, isn't it? Although I don't know what the end result will be, one thing is true. There is good work being done, even though I am unable to watch it unfold.
In today's scriptures from both 2 Kings and Genesis, we are reminded of a similar truth. God is at work, but we often can't see it until we look back at our lives. Once in a while, God gives us a "happening now" glimpse of His sovereign work, as He did for Elisha's servant, 2 Kings 6:1-8. However, for the most part, it is generally only as we look in the rear-view mirror that we see His heretofore hidden work, at least a glimpse of it. No doubt, myriads of details of God wondrous work in and through our lives will remain hidden until God reveals them to us in eternity. So, for now, let's remind ourselves of a few precious truths from both Elisha's and Joseph's lives.
Elisha. What a fascinating glimpse of God's intervention he and his servant received. I can relate to his servant. No, I have never been surrounded with a fierce looking army, but I have been afraid. What a special gift God gave the fearful servant. Can you imagine his relief when God allowed him to see the warrior angels that surrounded him and his master? God had them right there. I admit it. That's the kind of God sighting I would love to have. The kind where the Lord would show me what He was doing right in my present-day situation. Oh, it probably wouldn't be an angel army, but maybe it would be a provision that He might show me was on the way, even though I couldn't see it. Or maybe a person who held the key to a dilemma I was facing. Or, perhaps He would open my eyes so I could see some special way He would use my present quandary to bless someone down the road. Am I the only one who would love that kind of a moment that God gave Elisha? Instant relief. I would like it, as I am certain that Elisha's servant did.
Joseph. Hindsight is 20/20. Most of the time, we see the Lord's Hand, when He permits it, as Joseph did. I love this story, but I have to admit that I wouldn't have wanted to have experienced it. One of the reasons it is precious to me is that I have the advantage of Joseph's perspective in both Genesis 45:1-8 and Genesis 50:14-21. However, let's not rush there. Let's linger for a while in the preceding chapters in Genesis. That is where Joseph lived for many years, experiencing betrayal, lies, false imprisonment and being forgotten. As far as we know, these years were spent without special glimpses of what God was doing. I am in no way saying that the Lord didn't strengthen and help Joseph. After all, both Genesis 39:2 and Genesis 39:21 remind us that God was with Joseph, but as far as we know, the patriarch had no way of knowing the incredible ways the Lord had been working behind the scene, unbeknownst to him. Like us, Joseph had to lean on God's every day sustaining grace. It is easy as we rush to the fun part of Joseph's story to forget that week after week, he walked without knowledge of the great things the Lord had planned. He walked, depending upon God's enabling, waiting to discover what each day would bring. When he was at last promoted to second in command in Egypt, although his circumstances had so vastly improved, Joseph still didn't know the extent of God's amazing work. It was only when he saw his brothers' need and his ability to provide for his family, that God evidently opens Joseph's eyes to the incredible plan that He had all along. How sweet it is to hear from Joseph's own lips the amazing truth that God had sent him to Egypt. Yes, the brothers' hands had thrown him into the pit, and their cruel words had lashed him. However, in a precious way that only belongs to God, the Savior had used both the free will of the brothers and His sovereignty to place Joseph at the right place of authority at just the right time. Surely that was a sweet revelation to Joseph, and when we receive a fuller picture of God's activity in our lives, it is also precious to us.
Back to my husband's surprise gift. I know it will be something special because I know his ability and his love for me. That same truth, multiplied many times over, can encourage me as I walk with the Lord. As it is surely true for everyone, there are many circumstances in my own life that I don't understand. God hasn't revealed special ways He might use them. Yet, His ability to do wondrous things and His love for me are unquestionable. Isn't He the One Who created everything with only His Words, Genesis 1? Hasn't He demonstrated His love for me through His death on the cross, John 3:16.
Because these facts are true, I am reminded that His work that I cannot see is good. No wonder He promised that very thing in Romans 8:28.
Lord, Thank You for all that You have done, are doing and all that You will do. Thank You for Your unseen work and the times You allow us to see a tiny sliver of it.