There is an odd story in the Bible found in 2 Kings 7. I say odd because, honestly the graphic nature of chapter 6 and 7 combined would make most cable companies think twice about accepting it as a script.
In the story, we are told about a famine that has hit the community of Samaria very hard. But the problems do not stop there. Outside of the walled city is an occupying force, the army of Syria. The city is in famine and under siege. I’ll skip the graphic descriptors the Bible uses and let’s just say people were in a bad way and the deaths of the poor were piling up.
Now in chapter seven we are introduced to four lepers. Now leprosy is a horrid disease, that often leads to hands, feet, and even entire limbs rotting off. So, here we have four Lepers, living outside the gates of a city in famine, surrounded by the Syrian army aimed at total destruction.
I would call this a bad day. Every new year we are told about new resolutions, new goals, and we hear slogans about starting over, and getting the best from the new year. But what if your life feels like these lepers. What if your problems seem to have problems? What if a new year only means your current problems continue another day?
For many a new resolution and changing the digits from 17 to 18 will not change anything. And it is when our lives seem to be surrounded by nothing but troubles we want to give up.
The Lepers, wanted to give up as well. We are told they talked amongst themselves and decided they were all going to die no matter what. Go into the city and they die of starvation, stay put and they die of leprosy. So, they rolled the dice and chose to go towards the Syrian army. At worst they will be killed and at best they may be able to eat some Syrian trash.
We are troubles seem to have cousins looking towards a new year can be more damning that helpful. When we cannot see our way out and the new year reminds us that we will be struggling for another year, we may feel like giving up. When our future seems as dark as our past we may draw the conclusion the lepers did.
But there is always hope. When the lepers reached the camp of the Syrian army, the noticed the camp was deserted. Gold, wine, food, and horses were left behind but the army appeared to have left in a hurry. The answer to a city wide famine, the answer to possible military devastation, and for once a glimmer of hope for the lepers. What happened? Where did the Syrian army go?
Well, as the narrator of 2 Kings tells us, God played a heavenly sound track of a large military marching towards the Syrians. It was so, life like the Syrian army freaked out and ran away in fear of their lives. Who knew God has Dolby surround sound in Heaven?
For once there was a glimmer of hope. When the Lepers were facing the worst, when troubles mounted, and no victory was in sight, God was working in the background. When you seem lost and life seems impossible, the God of impossible is working in the background.
The Psalmist asks in Psalms 39:7, “Where do I put my hope?” Do I put it in doctors, lawyers, a new job, a new year, myself? No, “My only hope is in you God.” You may be facing the most impossible odds imaginable and all seems lost. I want to remind you, there is always hope. You may not see him, feel him or hear him, but in the background of your impossible circumstance……..God. The God of impossible is working to bring life from death.