A seven-year old son came running into the house and interrupted his mother’s book club by shouting, “There’s a great big, huge lion out in the front yard!” A quick glance by the mother revealed the animal in question was not a lion, but the neighbor’s fat cat.
Embarrassed by the intrusion and feeling that she had to do something, the mother addressed her son, “Tommy, you know we don’t tell lies and we don’t exaggerate. Go to your room.” Then perhaps because all the book club ladies were watching she added, “Maybe it would be a good idea if you talked with Jesus about it.”
The young boy went to his room but did not stay gone more than a few minutes. “Well,” replied one of the ladies, “that was quick. What did Jesus tell you?’
“Oh”, answered the youngster, He said, “Don’t worry about it Tommy. When I first saw it, I thought it was a lion too!”
We all see things differently. I have discovered that the level of a person’s quality of life will be determined by how they see things. Do you see obstacles or opportunities? How you see things will determine what you do and eventually what you become. That’s what happened in 2 Kings 6. The nation of Aram was always at war with Israel. Yet every time they would attack Israel, God would tell Elisha, a prophet of God in Israel, what the king of Aram’s war plans were. So, Israel would win over and over again. When Aram’s king learned that Elisha was the one who was giving away his plans, he sent an army to get him. Elisha’s servant woke up and went outside one morning to see that he and Elisha were surrounded by enemy troops.
In fear, the servant asked Elisha, “What are we going to do?” When he asked that question, he was not just seeking information; he was expressing an opinion as well. The servant was declaring that the surrounding enemy presents an insurmountable obstacle that would keep them from their preferred future. Elisha was different. He said something that must have seemed very odd to his servant: “Don’t worry. The people on our side far outnumber those against us.” I’m sure that statement must have really surprised Elisha’s servant. As far as he knew, only two people (Elisha and himself) were on their side!
“Don’t worry. The people on our side far outnumber those against us.”
I am inspired by Elisha’s prayer: “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.” (2 Kings 6:17 NLT) The same choice faces you. You can focus on the problem, be stopped by the obstacles and end up succumbing to fear. Or, like Elisha, you can focus on the problem solver, motivated by the opportunity and move forward in faith.
Points to Remember:
- How you see things will determine what you do and eventually what you become.
- Every situation in life is a mix of obstacle and opportunity, depending on how you see it.
- What you see determines your attitude.
- Your attitude comes from an inner choice, not outward circumstances.