Yesterday, we looked at “The Widow’s Oil,” the first of two women mentioned in II Kings Chapter 4. Today, we will look at the testimony of the Shunammite woman.
In II Kings 4:8-37, we again read about the prophet, Elisha. But this time, he was not ministering to a poor widow but to a noblewoman who lived in Shunem.
The day we meet her, we see a poised, beautiful lady who seems to have everything. She has a lovely home and a devoted husband who provides well for her and is respected in their community. She has a heart for the things of God. When she hears that the prophet Elisha is traveling by, she opens her home graciously and invites him in to cook a meal for him. But in her heart, something is prompting her to do more. Have you ever felt that nudge from the Holy Ghost to step out of the routine, make that deeper commitment, and go the extra mile? That quiet prompting can change not only someone else’s life but yours as well.
She convinces her husband to build the prophet his own room in their home. She creates a dedicated space in her home for the Spirit of God to reside. It may be fairly simple, but it has everything that is needed. She is not looking to receive; she is solely concerned with giving to the kingdom of God.
But on this day, the prophet Elisha calls her to him. He wants to repay her kindness in some way. Can he speak to the king or the army commander on her behalf? But she tells him she is perfectly content with her life. Socializing with the famous or being well-known holds no special attraction for her. It is well.
However, there is one thing, deep in her soul, that she has always longed for; to hold her own baby in her arms. But after all these years, that desire seems so out of reach that she can’t even voice it. She has not allowed her pain to make her a victim. Instead, she spends her time selflessly serving others. Elisha speaks to that hidden longing, “This time next year, you will have a son.” What a beautiful answer to a prayer she had not even been able to pray!
When we meet her again, her joy has turned to sorrow. Her only son is lying with his head on her lap as he takes his last breath. But, she still has a God space reserved in her home. She puts her son on the bed of the man of God and shuts the door. When her husband questions her, she replies with only three words “It is well.” How could she utter these words?
Because she has already experienced God’s miraculous power, that same child was the son God had given her all those years ago. She knows her only hope is to reach the servant of God. As she comes close, he runs to meet her. “Is it well with you and your husband and child?” She can only reply in faith, “It is well.” As she falls to her knees, she finally allows herself to cry. She had laid her need before God in the place she had prepared for Him. And in that place, He meets her and answers her desperate prayers. God returns her son to her.
As we walk through the trials and difficulties of life, we may be tempted to give in to fear and worry. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
No matter what you and I are going through today, we can confess in faith that “It is well!”