“Then one [of them] went into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, although they did not know what they were. So they served it for the men to eat. But as they ate the stew, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot.” And they could not eat it. But he said, “Bring flour.” And he threw it into the pot and said, “Serve it for the people so that they may eat.” Then there was nothing harmful in the pot.”2 Kings 4:39-41 AMP
Sometimes bad things happen.
That’s nothing new. It’s something we’ve all said and heard, but it’s true. You can plan the smallest detail, be prepared for every possible outcome, but there are things we cannot control or know. A person doesn’t know they have an allergy until they eat the food they’re allergic to (or stung if it’s bees). No one plans for storms, or hurricanes, when the sun is out. Sometimes, we want something so bad (be it a food or a person) that we don’t see or check if it will be poisonous to us. Things happen and sometimes they’re bad.
In the situation in 2 Kings 4, the people had been in a famine. Elisha arrived and told them to make soup. They did and ate the soup. Until they felt the poison. Instead of getting mad though, they went back to Elisha begging for help. He simply got flour, threw it in, and poof! The soup was fixed!
Now, not everything can be fixed with a toss of flour. But God can make something out of anything, even poisonous soup. They didn’t have to throw it away or hate it. That soup became a way that God showed them His power and that He cares for them. He wants them to live. God wants you to live.
That doesn’t mean you can’t feel bad. The people felt like they were dying. It was in that pain, they called out for help. They didn’t try to push through, or stay quiet. It hurt and they let Elisha know. Just like we should let God know how we feel about whatever we’re going through, because we will feel it.
I left my bow on a tram today. I didn’t plan to leave it, I haven’t left it before. Yet I did today. The moment I realized, I panicked. All I thought was, “God, God, God, God! I lost it! God, I lost my bow! Oh, God!”
I felt sick and shaky. My friend was calming me down, helping me figure out how to get it back, where we could catch that tram again. I answered her questions, we made a plan, God said it would be fine and it was going to be a quick fix. Despite all of that, I still felt sick and shaky. I tried to relax, get peace but it wasn’t happening. My body was just stuck in panic.
Even when I got the bow back, I was hugging it tight, that sick feeling still filling my stomach. It didn’t leave until I got back to my apartment and breathed. For a moment, I wondered if I was a bad Christian for being so anxious. Or that I deserved to be anxious because this whole thing was my fault. If I had paid more attention, then I wouldn’t have left the bow.
That scripture came into mind and at first I was thinking that it confirmed my thoughts, but then I felt God around me, whispering.
“My love is not based on what you do or feel. I am here. So feel what you feel, but know I am here. You were scared, stirred up, tormented. But I am here to cast out that fear. I’m here.”
God didn’t think less of me because I was scared. He wanted to get closer to me because I was scared. So I just let God in, let Him hold me and be there. He helped me feel more stable and in a few breaths that fear, torment, of losing my bow became a distant memory. The fear being overshadowed by God’s greatness that I was able to reclaim it so fast and had a great friend willing to help. Love, God’s love and friendship, casted out fear.
The situation didn’t magically end, nor was there a quick escape from it, nor did something automatically make me feel good. But there is God. He is here, with me, with you. God is here. He knows that there is death in your bowl. How you were poisoned or why doesn’t matter to Him. Right now, He wants to transform death into life, just for you. He is here to be with you.
Will you let Him?