Have you ever lost someone close to you? I have. My maternal grandpa passed away about two years ago. At that period in time, I was completing my final internship before graduating so I only went back to attend his funeral. The last time I talked to him was on Father’s Day that year and at that time, I remember him cheering me on to be a teacher. I remember asking him to come and visit us; to come and see me graduate. But he never got the chance.
As I read this chapter about Joash king of Israel who went down to see Elisha who had fallen sick, I am reminded of such a vulnerable moment—when you’re about to lose someone who represents a source of strength. When I read verse 14, it made me wonder why would Joash weep and say to Elisha, “The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!”? Elisha said these words to Elijah in 2 Kings 2:12, he recognized the true strength of Israel was really in the presence of the prophet of God. Now Joash saw this same strength slipping from this earth and mourned it.
I didn’t really get another chance to speak to my grandpa when he was hospitalized. I had to complete my internship, and at one point I almost gave up everything because I was scared, doubtful, and maybe lazy. I think Joash might have felt the same way. But Elisha had one last prophecy to give to Joash. Elisha used an illustration of the arrow shot through the window that the Lord will deliver. In those days it was a custom to shoot an arrow into the country which an army intended to invade, and Elisha made a clear connection between shooting the arrows to the east to strike the Syrians to bring deliverance to Israel. It represented a window of opportunity for Joash to strike against his enemies. He failed to seize the opportunity.
It reminded me of God’s grace and guidance at that moment in time because I set my mind on giving it my all. However many more opportunities will come our way and we need to take a hold of each one and give it our all. Because our response to the opportunity determines the impact of that opportunity: we reap what we sow. I hope you can seize God-given opportunities and give it your all.