“And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm.” 2 Kings 4:34
It happened one day that as the prophet Elisha stood at Mount Carmel he saw a familiar face running towards him in the distance. It was the Shunammite woman from his past. Years ago, she had recognized him for who he was and in return he had promised her a child. Now the child was dead and it seemed the promise was lost.
Trying to remedy the situation, Elisha sent his staff, an object to take his place, and asked that it be laid on the face of the child. We can imagine that this staff was so much a part of Elisha that when others saw it they thought only of him. But no matter how much it seemed like him, it was not enough to bring the child to life (2 Kings: 4:8-37).
What the promise needed was a body.
When Elisha found himself there with the boy, in that room he knew so well and with the weight of the promise he had spoken, he stretched the entirety of his body over the surface of the child, placing “his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands.”
Elisha positioned all of who he was in full contact with all that he hoped for and from this sprang life.
When it comes to our own bodies, they can sometimes feel like promises lost. Identities that got away from us somehow and are in desperate need of revival.
The antidote to this wasting away is intimate contact with our Promise keeper- Jesus.
No almost is enough.
God wrapped himself with a body so He could come in close. As Jesus, He was able to touch flesh, lay hands, and stand alongside, all the while knowing it was His flesh for our freedom. As His followers, we seek out this same type of relationship, a bodily knowledge of who He is. In our reverence we acknowledge His Holiness and become fascinated with taking on our own portion of His offering.
Paul commands such a thing when he says,
“So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word (Hebrew 10:19-22, MSG).”
This closeness comes at a price. There are obstacles on every side. Working together, the world tries to take away our Jesus desire while the enemy swoops in after the remains. The two will treat you like a used car, talking down the parts to devalue the whole. But these two are no match for the design.
The body design. The relationship design. The faith design.
God is interested in the whole, not just the parts.
He covers us in His Word and tells us that when our offering is placed in contact with His it is enough to warm the body- not because we are enough, but because He is enough.
We can’t let the world or the enemy tell us differently. Our value lies not in our appearance, but in our willingness to get close.
Full knowledge of ourselves and our worth comes from standing mouth to mouth, eye to eye, and hand to hand with our Creator and Savior. The One who built the body and redeemed it. Let Him tell us who we are.
Image Credit: “Turning Point.” Hyatt Moore. hyattmoore.com