The transfer of leadership does not always happen as we plan or would prefer. But we must be prepared to take up the mantle, carrying the lessons and examples of mentors, but ultimately relying on God’s provision.
A big challenge with Elisha would have to be his ability to move beyond the death of Elijah. Sometimes the most difficult part with change is to accept our responsibility to move beyond the past and into the future. It is possible he was a little intimidated by the task in front of him or that he was just mourning the loss of his mentor; this may be why he asked for a “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kings 2:9). When Elijah is called up, he leaves his cloak behind. Elisha now assumes the role of prophet, but his taking of Elijah’s clothes does not suggest that he believed them to possess a power of sorts (v. 13). Elisha knew that his power and authority stemmed from God’s presence and the portion he had been allotted. He trusted the living God with his future. McGee reminds us, “This is the important question today. Instead of looking to men or women, methods or some nostrum for help, as many people do, why not look to the Lord God of Israel? He is the living God. He is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Look to him my friend” (J. Vernon McGee, 1 & 2 Kings [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991], 7, Kindle).