Friday, July 08, 2011

The Shunammite Says

"When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. 22 Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.”
23 So he said, “Why are you going to him today?
It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.”
And she said, “
It is well.” 2 Kings 4:20-23

As I read this passage yesterday about the Shunammite woman, I was captured by her responses through the whole situation.  In the verses I just shared, her son has just died.  On her lap.  And when she asked her husband for the donkey to go see Elisha, she didn't even tell him about their son's death.  She simply said "it is well."  Then she got on her donkey and went to meet Elisha.  As she came upon Elisha, she did the same thing again.  Elisha sent his servant to meet her and ask if everything was well, and she replied with the exact same thing.

"So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! 26 Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’”
And she answered, “
It is well.”  2 Kings 4:25-26

This is supposed to be our response in the midst of trials and tragedy.  But it's not.  The Shunammite woman watched her son die in her arms, and instead of grieving and crying and getting all upset, she very matter-of-factly went to find the man of God to bring her son back to life.  Her responses of "it is well" tell me that she fully expected that he would do that very thing- that her son would be alive and well again.  That is some incredible faith.

And how do we do with that?  When something bad is going on in our life, we tend to broadcast it to whomever will listen.  Technology like Facebook and Twitter make this even easier.  Something bad comes up and we tell anyone and everyone.  In our standard face-to-face conversations we are asked "how are you" and often times we take that as an opening to unload and share all the bad stuff going on.  Instead, we are to be like the Shunammite woman and have faith.  Our response should be that it is well, and then we should expect that God will intervene on our behalf with the trial facing us. 

A common saying here is "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade", and while it's a nice saying, it should be something more like,  "when life hands you lemons, expect them to become apples".  It's the expectation that's the hard part- the faith.  Oh, I have faith that God can move mountains all right, but sometimes, when you look at those mountains, and you KNOW that you're responsible for that mountain being there in the first place, that we don't feel right asking God to move it.  And yet, we can.  We can ask our Daddy for anything, and we can have faith that he will answer us.  Sometimes we need to go through something difficult to learn something, but we can most definitely have faith and know that God is holding our hand through the whole thing.

Our response to all trouble should be "it is well".  Sometimes, in an extreme situation, our response may be along the lines of panic or worry.  Over the last week, dear friends of ours have dealt with a family tragedy, and one of them shared this word with everyone in asking for prayer "don't worry, just pray", and I thought it was such a wonderful way to put it.  Don't worry, pray.  And when someone asks, say "it is well".  With God, all things are possible, and I like to think that it will ALWAYS be well.

1 comment:

Caregiving Eva said...

I love this story of the Shunammite woman. I adopted her "this is well"sentiment 4 years ago when my husband had a stroke. I still use it today, posting on facebook that "it is well" as I sit here in icu on day four with him. Yes, I am expecting God to turn these lemons into sweet apples. Enjoyed the blog.>>>>> Caregiver Eva