(NIV1984) 2 Kings 2:10 – “‘You have asked a difficult thing,’ Elijah said, ‘yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not.'”
Interesting concept that the fulfillment of Elisha’s request is hinged upon his staying with Elijah and watching him to the very end. Given how he’s stuck with him so far, we can expect that he will be persistent in his staying and seeing. Yet we do not always control what we can see.
Also – the idea that what Elisha has asked for is “a difficult thing” – previously I’ve taken that as a sign that it was difficult to fulfill, but perhaps that is not entirely the case. Perhaps it is just as much that having a double portion of Elijah’s spirit will, in of itself, be difficult. We’ve seen how hard it is for Elijah. To have a double portion would make it doubly hard for Elisha (possibly). If he gets it, his life will be difficult.
Perhaps, then, this is a warning and reminder to Elisha to count the cost. Don’t forget how difficult this has been for Elijah. Do you really want this?