2 Kings 2:9-14, “After they had gone across, Elijah spoke to Elisha. He said, “Tell me. What can I do for you before I’m taken away from you?” “Please give me a double share of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 10 “You have asked me for something I can’t give you,” Elijah said. “Only the LORD can give it. But suppose you see me when I’m taken away from you. Then you will receive what you have asked for. If you don’t see me, you won’t receive it.” 11 They kept walking along and talking together. Suddenly a chariot and horses appeared. Fire was all around them. The chariot and horses came between the two men. Then Elijah went up to heaven in a strong wind. 12 Elisha saw it. He cried out to Elijah, “My father! You are like a father to me! You are the true chariots and horsemen of Israel!” Elisha didn’t see Elijah anymore. Then Elisha took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart. 13 He picked up the coat that had fallen from Elijah. He went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan River. 14 Then he struck the water with Elijah’s coat. “Where is the power of the Lord?” he asked. “Where is the power of the God of Elijah?” When Elisha struck the water, it parted to the right and to the left. He went across the river.”
The story begins in 2 Kings 2 as Elijah, the prophet, is dying. Elisha, his understudy so to speak, follows him and will not leave his side. Elisha has been with Elijah for around 13 years and sees him as a father figure. When Elijah knows his time is near, he asks Elisha what he can give him. Elisha boldly asks that Elijah’s spirit would rest upon him – a double share of his spirit. He then sees Elijah being carried into the sky by a chariot and horses. When Elijah is gone, Elisha picks up his cloak.
Earlier in the story, Elijah used the cloak to part the waters of the Jordan so that he and Elisha could get to the other side; and now, Elisha stands before the Jordan, holding the cloak, wondering.
Have you ever been in his position? Have you ever reached a point in your life when you wanted so desperately to believe God will answer a prayer; but that doubt, that little voice inside your head, questions it?
Some of us never get past the doubt. Some of us never pick up the cloak and strike the water. When Elisha picks up the cloak of Elijah, I can imagine what he was thinking. He was thinking, “Did you God? Did you give me his spirit? Can I strike the water and the waters part under your power? Do I have what it takes?”
And as he stands before the Jordan, I’m sure he whispered, “Please God. Please let the waters part.”
He lifted the cloak and struck the water just as Elijah had earlier. The water parted and Elisha walked across on dry land.
I often wonder what would’ve happen had he tucked the cloak away and took a different path home. Would his life have been the same? We do not know because Elisha had the courage to strike the water.
Some of you need some encouragement today. Some of you are standing before God, hoping, praying, longing – but you’ve got to pick up your cloak and strike the water.
Today, I pray for encouragement and boldness to fall upon you. I pray the Lord will speak to you in a clear way. I pray you will have the courage to strike the water.