There’s a lot that goes on backstage the audience doesn’t see. Sound effects, lights, curtains, a scrim (a curtain-like drop that can either be opaque or transparent, depending on lighting), fog machines, pulleys, and levers all can be manipulated to give the audience a fantastic show. If the audience never notices the crew working the effects, then they’ve done their job flawlessly.
Ideally, the story captures the audience’s attention from curtain open to curtain call. We laugh, we cry, and we pray like mad the protagonist finds what he or she longs for. We suspend our disbelief and get caught up in the plot line and fall in love with characters. Occasionally we loathe a character.
In the background, cast and crew frantically search for props, restyle a wig, or prop up a sagging costume rack. (True story: I once replaced someone holding up a broken costume rack seconds before they appeared onstage while we waited for a crew member to grab a screwdriver and a flashlight to come fix it.) They redo makeup. Or zip up a cast member’s dress and adjust their microphone because they have to go on in a minute. It’s a frenetic pace.
Often, we’re captivated by the temporal—what we can see—and forget about what’s going on in the heavenly realm. Sometimes things happen that are so painful and confusing, we feel overwhelmed by evil. It’s easy to forget Who’s our protector. Our deep-seated beliefs that we don’t matter much to God overpowers what we know about His sovereignty. All we know is the here and now—we can’t see God working or hear His voice, so He must have forgotten about us, right?
Elisha’s servant forgot that God was watching over him too. When the king of Aram trapped Elisha and his servant in Dothan by surrounding the city with an army, chariots and horses, the servant panicked.
But Elisha saw God at work to protect them in the heavenlies. “And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17).
It’s easy to get so engrossed in the story we can see that we forget about what’s going on behind the scenes. Sometimes our circumstances are so foggy, we can’t see to even take a step. Long-ago abandoned by God, or so we think, pain and darkness consume us.
I’ve been there. It happens as easily in the twenty-first century as easily as it did in the 9th century BC. What a relief to have God reach down through the fog and say, “You matter to me. I want to heal you and walk with you through this,” just as he did for Elisha’s servant. Though I didn’t know when or how, I trusted the God with angel armies and chariots of fire to walk through scary and painful times with me.
Elisha and his servant led the raiding Aram army to Samaria, where they were captured by Israel. Eventually, they stopped raiding Israeli territory.
So too, am I waiting eagerly for memories of my painful past to stop invading my mind. But in the meantime, my eyes are open to the goodness of God, our protector God who won’t let me fight alone.
Join the conversation! Do you recall a time when your eyes were opened in the midst of a battle? Did you gain renewed courage? Tell me about it in the comments: