2 Kings 2:2 (MSG) Just before God took Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on a walk out of Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here. God has sent me on an errand to Bethel.” Elisha said, “Not on your life! I’m not letting you out of my sight!” So they both went to Bethel.
As soon as rounded the corner I could see that he wasn’t looking, I knew he was going to run…and he did. Time stopped, there was just no way I could stop in time…. “Please no, please no…”, I prayed over and over in my mind. I did all that I could to avoid the little boy…the car was swerving violently as I pressed full force onto the brake. The Nepali Pastor in my car was screaming as we veered across the high Himalayan road toward a wall and a very steep mountain ravine…I just managed to stop with a couple of feet to spare. However, in the midst of all the noise and smell of burning tyres, I had heard a thud, something had hit the car….and I knew what it was.
I jumped out to look under the car, my heart stopped….but there was nothing. I frantically searched all around the side of the road with my Nepali friend…but there was nothing to be found… Within the space of a few moments there seemed to be hundreds of people suddenly arrive around my small white Suzuki Jeep ….these were local villagers….and they were angry.
Moments later, in the crowd, we found the little boy…remarkably had a small minor injury, lots of blood but just a small cut across his forehead. He was clearly shocked and frightened…who wouldn’t be. I remember thinking that my prayer had been answered…it seemed he was going to ok…… But then something happened that I was not expecting. The anger of the local people went to a different level… they were not looking to be appeased they were looking for a physical retribution. Lots of shouting, grabbing and pushing ensued and for the first time in the whole saga I was not safe.….My Nepali friend put his arms around to project me initially and then for 6 hours he sort to speak on my behalf standing between myself and an angry crowd…..My friends advice to me was simple, ‘sit down, and do whatever I ask you to do”.
Then, in the packed community room where we were gathered suddenly appeared two elderly figures ….My Nepali language was not good at that time, but it didn’t need to be…This elderly man and woman were the grandparents of the little boy. They stood there pointing directly at me, my heart stopped. Then they began to talk softly and slowly….. suddenly a peace came over the whole gathering, everyone listened intently. My Nepali friend slowly turned and looked reassuringly at me,… I could see all the strain and stress drain from his face….what had happened?
The grandparents were pointing at me but not to accuse me of anything, but to acknowledge that because of the way I had swerved and manoeuvred the car I was actually responsible for saving their grandsons life! I was stunned and quietly ecstatic. My friend had arranged for the old couple to speak because they had witnessed the whole event.
Here’s the thing….. my friend, who had stood with me, protected me, defended me; endured with me was actually the way God presenced himself with me on that challenging and difficult day.
My Nepali friend said as we were driving away…. “It’s a good job I was with you today…I am not sure you would have made out of there without me”. His name is Bhab Ghale and on that day, “He never let me out of his sight” ((2 Kings 2:2) – What a friend eh!!
It is through being a good friend in times of trouble that God reaches out and reveals Himself to those who are facing challenging difficult situations. Be the kind of friend that God can use.