For someone who enjoys prodding y’all on towards self growth, the start of this blog may seem a little pessimistic to you. Don’t worry though just give me a minute and you’ll understand why this is one of the best stories you could ever take in.
It’s not my story but one of four men who were bound together by their similarities and society’s norms for their day. The parallel’s to our own lives are so worth the retelling.
Ever felt like you were sitting at death’s door? An emotional feeling of despair or the overwhelming stress of persistent circumstances could easily have you there. You’ve given up any hope of normalcy, of peace, of a turn around, or your finances changing, a relationship improving or the pursuit of a better life. The day to day struggles in our world are tough and you would have to be out of your ever loving mind to believe that ANYTHING different could be possible.
With me so far? Then let me tell you a very old story about four men who decided to stop waiting at death’s door because they had nothing to lose.
Let me set the stage quickly. We are talking about an ancient city who had been under siege for a long time. They were starving. What they did have sold at a high price until there was nothing left. Desperation for survival was so bad that people were eating their own children. That’s pretty bad, right?! No one would help their neighbors. The loss of hope was so deep rooted in these people that death probably would have been a comfort to them.
Now enter The Four (as I’m going to call them). These guys were lepers. Outcasts. They weren’t allowed within the city walls and they were starving too. The desperation of the situation was thick in the air.
Why Just Sit Here Till We Die?
One of The Four turns to the others one day and says, “Why just sit here till we die?” I love that! What a reminder to us no matter our situation. WHY are we sitting here, stagnant and rotting, waiting for death to show up when we can possibly change our situation??
Mr. One continues to tell them they have nothing to lose. We can go into the city for something to eat but they will kill us. We could march on into the dessert and we might die there too. We could go to the Army surrounding us and they might kill us but if they let us live…. He was saying that we have nothing to lose if we try. Death was coming one way or the other for The Four and they might as well go down trying!
You Must Be Crazy
The other angle in the story here is the people within the city. These guys are so desperate they’ve cooked their kids. And, a man in town says (the same day the The Four decide to take action) that tomorrow there will be plenty of food for the whole city. That their time of abundance is coming.
Can you imagine the looks these people gave this dude? How often do we have that type of reaction to our own circumstances?
We’ve given up. We are so near sighted! Things would be nuts if they changed. We joke it off with, “Well, when I win the lottery….” (And, please stop saying this because you don’t even play!)
The Way Has Been Prepared
Here is the coolest thing in the story to me. The Four head out towards the Army’s camp and it is EMPTY when they arrive. They go back to the city to tell the people that all of this food and riches are there for the taking. The enemy army has fled.
Of course no one believes them but after some prodding they check it out and sure enough – FOOD, RICHES, and no army!! This is beyond weird – What did that guy say yesterday about plenty? (Scratches head).
What is told in the story that The Four and The City don’t know and will never see is this – The way had been prepared for them. The Army heard a loud, roaring march approaching their camp the night The Four walked towards it. They fled in fear of the impending onslaught.
Your Fear And Arrogance Will Kill You
Don’t be so arrogant that you believe you KNOW the outcome to every situation in life. There are things in motion in the world that you cannot see or hear and they could very well be preparing the way to your new life – to success – to change. The point of my telling you this story – You have got to try!
Your fear and arrogance, or pride, will surely bring death to you. Because staying in this “place” in your life, whatever your “place” is, staying hopeless will not bring growth and life. But, facing the possibility, no matter how seemingly small the chance, can reap untold and unknown positive outcomes.
So I say to you, “Why just sit here till we die?!”
This is my take on the story in 2 Kings 6-7. If you’d like to read this amazing story for yourself, you can do so HERE.