The Shunammite Woman: Faith to Believe
I've thoroughly enjoyed all my Bible mommy guests over the past few weeks. We have another fine example today. She's in good company with many of my other guests, for she too experienced infertility. Yet, she demonstrated a giving heart and great faith.
It's no secret that you're a woman of great means. On more than one occasion, you reached out to the prophet, Elisha, even asked your husband to make a room for him on the roof.
Yes, God blessed Gehazi and me. We simply wanted to give back to Him out of our abundance. And we so enjoyed visiting with the man of God when he would come through Shunem.
And he enjoyed your company and appreciated your sacrifice for him.
Oh, it was nothing, really.
Still, he wanted to make it up to you, didn't he?
Yes. He asked my husband what he could do for me. Gehazi told Elisha we had no son, and he was old.
Well, Elisha asked Gehazi to call me. When I came, Elisha told me that this time next year, I would hold a son in my arms. I couldn't believe it! I thought he was teasing me.
But you did get pregnant, didn't you?
Yes. The joy of our hearts.
Sadly, tragedy struck. Tell us about that difficult time in your life.
Gehazi was in the field with our son. The boy complaiend about a severe headache, so my husband told a servant to carry him to me. She sniffs. The child died on my lap. But I didn't say a word. I simply carried him to Elisha's room, laid him on the bed, and shut the door behind me. I called Gehazi and asked him to get a servant and a donkey so I could go to the man of God. He didn't undersatnd since I hadn't told him about our son's death. All I said was, it will be all right.
Such composure . . . and faith.
I knew if God could give me a son, He could also raise him up, so I chose to believe He could do the impossible.
When Elisha saw me approaching, he sent his servant to greet me. He asked, "Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?" She smiles. Such a caring man. Then I said, "Everything is all right."
Wow. I would've been a basket case by now.
God gave me peace. I can't explain it any other way. When I reached Elisha, I took hold of his feet. Gehazi tried to push me away, but Elisha said, "Leave her alone. She is in bitter distress, but the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me why." Then I came unglued. I told him how I asked for a son, that I'd said "Don't raise my hopes." Elisha immediately knew something had happened to the boy. He told Gehazi to run and lay his staff on the boy's face. But I stayed with Elisha.
Did the boy live?
There was no sound or response at first. Gehazi came back to Elisha and told him the boy had not awakened. When Elisha reached the house, "my son was lying dead on the couch. He went in, shut the door and prayed to the LORD. Then he got on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy's body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out upon him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes." That's the way Elisha said it happened. Elisha called for Gehazi who called for me. When I saw my son alive, I knew God had heard Elisha and answered all our prayers! I was so grateful, I threw myself at his feet. Then I took my son and went out.
Quite the story. I'm sure you learned many lessons during this time.
Yes, God is faithful to teach us in the good and the bad times. My faith took a huge leap when I gave birth to my son. After that, I knew God had a plan for him, even though I didn't understand why he died. I trusted that God would work through Elisha. So I chose to believe. We must choose to trust God with our children even when circumstances seem impossible.
So true. I suspect many of my readers are dealing with difficult situations with their children. Perhaps some are struggling with a wayward child or a sick child.
So my question to you, dear reader, is "Do you have faith to believe God can do the impossible?"
For more of the Shunammite woman's story, read 2 Kings 4:8-37.