“One day, the leaders of Jericho visited Elisha the Prophet. ‘We have a problem,’ they said. ‘The city’s location in pleasant. But the water is bad, and the land is barren.’
“So Elisha said, ‘Bring me a new bowl with salt in it.’ When the leaders, brought Elisha the bowl, he went to the spring which supplied the city’s water and threw the salt into it. Then he said, ‘This is what God says: “I have purified this water. It will no longer cause death or infertility.”’ And the water has remained pure ever since, just as Elisha said.”
2 Kings 2:19-22
Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:
- This story of the Prophet Elisha reminds us that we can transform our lives where we are, starting with what we have.
- Prophets are God’s messengers. When a prophet appears, we’re invited to expand our understanding and experience life differently. A true prophet may advise that we move beyond our comfort zone, but they won’t encourage harm or violence to ourselves or others.
- Notice that Elisha listens to the problem, but he doesn’t host a pity party and commiserate with the leaders about it. Neither does he consult others for their opinions. He focuses on what the leaders desire: clean, potable water and fertile ground in a city they enjoy. Likewise, you may feel bad or discouraged about something in your life, but don’t give it all your attention.
- To remedy the situation, Elisha requests a new bowl of salt. This new bowl represents an open, receptive mindset. Salt is an alkaline which neutralizes acidity in water and in our bodies. Because salt flavors and purifies, it represents the transformed thinking you can have about your situation.
- Demonstration is your evidence of what does or doesn’t work in your life. If you don’t like what you’re demonstrating, then you must be willing to do the work to transform it. Don’t focus on what’s lacking. Focus on what resources you have available now, around you and within you.
- To keep your mindset pure, don’t make excuses for what was or assume what could happen. Stop talking about the problem. Ignore public opinion about what “should” work. Also, avoid the magical thinking which believes that God casts charms or the Universe drops opportunities from the sky.
- As Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon teaches in an inspiring collection of her sermons, It Works If You Work It, “You have creativity [and] imagination; you have intuition; you have a reservoir of love and understanding. You can build anything, you can solve any problem, you can create using what you have, starting right where you are.”
As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:
- What is bad and/or barren in my life now?
- List, word map, or illustrate whatever applies.
- What have I been thinking about the bad and/or barren?
- Without judgment or analysis, list, word map, or illustrate whatever you’ve been thinking. Don’t worry about how the thoughts sound; just note what they are.
- Then, note which are positive and which are negative, marking “P” or “N” by each thought.
- When I reflect on what I’ve been thinking, in what ways can I accentuate the positives, and eliminate or transform the negatives?
- List, word map, or illustrate as many ways as you can.
- Who and/or what is prophetic in my life?
- List, word map, or illustrate the who and/or what.
- Then, note what’s prophetic, even if you can’t fully comprehend it yet.
- What do I have available now, which can help me neutralize and purify what’s bad and/or barren?
- List, word map, or illustrate as many resources as apply, no matter how small or insignificant they seem.
- What are at least three (3) ways I can use these resources to transform my life?
- List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.
Be courageous as you work with this devotional. Remember: the thinking which has you where you are, isn’t the thinking to get you where you want to be. So, be open to changing your mind and listening to your intuition for whatever you need to move forward. Especially, be willing to follow the prophetic, God guidance you’re receiving. You are God’s beloved and worthy of all the Universe has to offer. Do the work, even if it pushes you beyond your comfort zone, because God can only do for you what God can do through you.
© 2023 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.
Photo by NPF Photography from Shutterstock.