2Kings 2: So there — didn’t I tell you?
Even as Elisha seeks the God of Elijah, the disciples of Elijah are still looking for Elijah. I can’t be too hard on these good men, assuming a lack of faith on their part. They’ve literally seen their master picked up by a tornado and carried away. Had I been there I too would have been inclined to view things from a non-spiritual viewpoint. They want to form a search party and try to find Elijah just in case the Lord was merely relocating him and not taking him from earth in a way never seen before or since! Again, I can’t be too hard on these men. Elisha assures them that Elijah is right where God wants him to be, but, when they insist, he agrees that 50 of them go on a search and rescue mission. Three days later they’re back and reporting that Elijah’s nowhere to be found. Elisha says, “Told you so.” Aside from the fact that I would have probably been among those on the search team, I note that sometimes I have to let people do what they want to do. I think I tend to waste energy trying to get people to do things my way when I’d be better off pursuing my vision and letting the Lord straighten them out when he knows they’re ready. Elisha knows without a doubt that the 50 won’t find Elijah. He also knows that they’ll have to find that out for themselves. Understanding that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t ever attempt to influence others. It does mean, though, that I’m free from trying to micromanage the lives of other people.
Take Away: Sometimes leaders have to simply give people permission to find out for themselves what the leader already knows.