I can recall a conversation with my oldest son, who was only 3 or 4 at the time, that went something like this:
Me: “Do you know what you have to do to go to heaven someday?”
Touché, son. Well played.
Death is indeed a typical prerequisite for entering heaven, but Elijah was an exception to the rule. He took an unconventional path into his eternal home, leaving his similarly-named apprentice, Elisha, in his place.
Put yourself in Elisha’s shoes. Your predecessor just rode a tornado into eternity. What do you do now? Well, apparently you pick right up where he left off.
Prior to his grand exit, Elijah posed a final question to Elisha: “What shall I do for you?” (v. 9)
Elisha, who had apparently picked up some of the boldness that characterized his predecessor, makes no small request: “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me” (v. 9) In other words, whatever Elijah’s got going on, Elisha wants twice as much of it. Apparently, Elisha subscribed to the philosophy that was described so eloquently by Wayne Gretzky many, many years later: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Even Elijah seems to be taken back by the boldness of his request: “You have asked a hard thing” (v. 10).
Nevertheless, the Lord honors Elisha’s request. Elisha goes on to succeed Elijah, performing his own series of healings and miracles.
The testimony of Elisha’s boldness and the Lord’s faithfulness leads us to this question: what do you need to ask the Lord to do? Is there a request you have–maybe one so bold that you hesitate to even share it with anyone? Maybe that’s exactly the request you need to make today.