Happenings around Antioch

God is more real than what we can see

It was a typical Sunday morning at Antioch Church, many years ago. We were singing hymns and praise songs to the Lord Jesus. Many people had their eyes closed, but not my son Jesse. He was four years old at the time and taking it all in, watching people sing, looking at the musicians, gazing at the ceiling. Suddenly he tugged on his mom’s dress and whispered in her ear when she leaned down, “Mom, God and his friends and the angels are here!”

“Where are they?” Cindy replied.

“They’re in this room, but you can’t see them,” Jesse assured her, his blue eyes as serious as they have ever been.

You know what? I believe Jesse was right. I was reminded of the story in Scripture about Elisha the prophet, when he was being hunted by a king. You see, the Syrians were at war with Israel, and every time they would make a move against the Israelites, Elisha would tell the king of Israel what the Syrians were going to do before they did it. This ticked off the Syrian king, so he sent an army to go get the prophet Elisha.

The Syrian army surrounded the city of Dothan where Elisha and his servant, Gehazi, were staying, and the next morning there they were, horses, chariots, and lots of Syrian soldiers. Gehazi was scared to death and cried out, “Master! What shall we do?” I imagine that Elisha was still sipping his first cup of coffee and eating a sweet roll as he read the Dothan Daily, and didn’t even bother to glance at the enemy. He said to Gehazi, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Huh? That’s what Gehazi’s face must have said. He had no idea what the prophet was talking about, so Elisha put his paper down and began to pray. He asked the Lord to open his servant’s eyes so he could see, and I believe it was about then that Gehazi started shouting and pointing and maybe even dabbing, nearly spilling Elisha’s coffee in the process. The servant looked at the hills around Dothan, rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t dreaming, and then looked again. It was still there, and what an awesome spectacle it was. The mountain was lit up with the glory of God as horses and chariots of fire surrounded the Syrian army. The Syrians did not see the army of angels, of course, and they began to move into the city, confident that this little prophet of God had finally met his match. Let’s just say that the prophet of God got the last laugh.

You will have to go to 2 Kings 6:18-23 to read the rest of the story, but it is amazing. It shows off God’s sense of humor, God’s compassion, and God’s power.

This story also confirms, I believe, what Jesse sensed in his spirit as a little boy. God is real, more real than anything that we can touch and hear and see. We are not alone in the universe, because the one who made us is here. He is not aloof or distant, but very much involved in his creation. He is more real than the life I live, and praise God, he is more real than the death I will pass through one day. Until that day, when I meet him face to face, I want to live with the wonder and the expectant hope that only child-like faith can produce.