Elijah’s time had come to leave this earth and to be with God. But before he departed, he asked Elisha, his disciple, “What can I do for you before I’m taken from you?” And Elisha replied, “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.” (9)
Elijah wouldn’t promise that outright, saying only that if Elisha saw how Elijah was taken, his request would be granted by God. And as they walked along, suddenly a chariot of fire came and took Elijah away, right before Elisha’s eyes.
When they had crossed the Jordan together, Elijah had struck the water with his cloak and it divided for him. Now as Elisha came back, he said, “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” (14)
In other words, is God with me as he was with Elijah? Or have I been left lonely? His answer came, as he took Elijah’s cloak that was left behind, struck the Jordan and saw it split before him.
This story calls to mind what Jesus told his disciples at the last supper. He told them,
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it…I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:12-14, 18)
Just as God’s Spirit was with Elisha after Elijah departed, God’s Spirit is with us. And just as Elisha was able to do greater things than even Elijah, we are able to do even greater things than Jesus did while he was on earth. Why? Because as with Elisha, God does not leave us lonely. He does not, as Jesus put it, leave us as orphans. Rather he comes to us and imparts to us not only his love, but his power. More than that, Jesus promises that we may ask anything in his name and he will do it.
So let us be like Elisha was with Elijah. Faithful to our Lord. Constantly following him. Willing to do whatever he asks. As Jesus said,
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. (John 14:21)