To this day I remember the morning my father made breakfast for me. When I was a young boy my father prepared a hearty breakfast, placing before me a plate filled with scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon. It was delicious and being a growing boy I asked for seconds. In fact, if my recollection is correct, I ate three helpings of scrambled eggs!
When I was finished my father asked, “did you enjoy your breakfast?” “Yes,” I replied enthusiastically and gratefully. “That was good!”
With a mischievous look on his face, he inquired, “Do you know what you ate?” “Sure, scrambled eggs.” He smiled. “Those were pigs’ brains, would you like more?”
I felt sick. I’m sure I turned green.
Not everything is as it appears. We are easily deceived by outward appearances. Because a plate of pigs’ brains looked like scrambled eggs and because I was expecting scrambled eggs, my mind told me, despite the “rich” flavor of these particular “eggs,” that I was eating scrambled eggs. I was wrong, a fact that my father never tires of reminding me!
Life is like that. We think we see things clearly. We think we understand. We think we have it figured out. The truth is that appearances can be deceiving; there is often more than meets the eye.
Elisha’s servant discovered this truth. Take a moment to read this short passage to get the context:
Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.” And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.
And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:8-15)
All outward appearances told the frightened servant that they were surrounded and were about to be taken prisoner or killed.
But there is more than meets the eye.
[Elisha] said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.”
So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:15-17)
Do you feel surrounded? Are you struggling with physical illness—perhaps even a life threatening one? Is there turmoil in your marriage? Are you wrestling with a prodigal son or daughter? Are you the victim of verbal abuse, gossip, or slander? Do you feel the weight and stress of financial difficulties? Do you tire of the onslaught of crisis in this world-earthquakes, nuclear reactors, riots in the Mideast, political bickering in Washington, and corruption on Wall Street? Are you discouraged by the relentless and precipitous decline in our country’s moral standards?
Do you feel like God has abandoned or is ignoring you?
Like Elisha’s servant we easily see our troubles and are easily frightened, worried, and sometimes overwhelmed. We see trials in our lives but we don’t always see or sense God’s invisible chariots or his guardian angels! He often seems absent, silent, and indifferent.
Always remember that no matter how dark the days, how silent God may be, how overwhelming life may seem at times, God is always present with his children. We are never forsaken, never abandoned, never forgotten. He IS “causing ALL things to work TOGETHER for good TO THOSE LOVE GOD, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
To reverse my story about pigs’ brains and scrambled eggs, when surrounded by fear and/or doubt, remember that what appears like pigs’ brains are actually scrambled eggs!
Ask God to give you spiritual eyes to see his love, his wisdom, and his protection.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed …
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:7-12; 16-18)
Life may look like pigs’ brains but there is more than meets the eye in our lives—God surrounds us with his love, wisdom, guardian angels, and good purposes. Take heart!