“Elisha died and was buried.”
2 Kings 13:20
There was nothing more to say about the prophet except what had been said. He was a renowned prophet who could perform amazing miracles, and remained faithful to the Lord until the day he died. We can’t really ask more than that from a man.
Of course he could have lived longer and done more for the Lord, which was his wish, and everybody else’s wish as well, since we believe we have a lot more to contribute to the world than we have already contributed, and more things to say that we have already said.
“I have a journey, sir, shortly to go. My master calls me. I must not say no,” we read in King Lear. No matter how much we have done, we will always leave a lot of things undone when our Master calls us home, and we cannot say no when the call is issued.
There is always another sermon to preach, another miracle to perform, and another book to write. So we ask for a year or two on earth, as if we can accomplish all we want to achieve if given enough time.
“Elisha died and was buried.” It was as simple as that. If there was anyone who deserved to have another year or two on earth, the prophet would have been the one, for he was such a giant in God’s kingdom and so capable of doing great things.
“God doth not need either man’s work or His own gifts,” John Milton wrote in his poem on blindness, asking why the Lord took away the one talent with which he was going to serve the Lord.
We may feel we are needed by many people, by God even, not realizing the world will quickly move on when we move on, and will not miss us one bit, since she is utterly self-absorbed and self-sufficient and will easily find someone to take our place.
The great Elijah was replaced; and Elisha would be replaced as well.
How many people in the building are breathing their last? I think every time I drive by the biggest hospital in town, and it goes without saying all of them would like to have more days on earth and to accomplish more things.
“It is finished,” exclaimed the Lord from the cross. The one thing God had assigned Christ Jesus to do was done, which draw a perfect finish to his life. “I have fought the good fight,” wrote Paul, who didn’t seem to have any regrets when the call for him to cross the Jordon was issued. He might have wished to do more in God’s kingdom, yet he was content if that became impossible.
Our finish line may still be far away and out of sight, yet we know it is there. May we strive to finish the work assigned to us so that we will have no regrets when we finally get there.