Jun 24, 2009, 9:24 AM
A well-to-do Shunammite woman who had shown prophet Elisha kindness by providing him with accommodation whenever he was in the vicinity, happened to be childless. By way of gratitude, prophet Elisha prophesied one day that within a year she would be nursing her own baby in her arms. She did not seem very enthused by the idea because she had been without into probably her middle age. It was such that being a mother was not amongst her prime interests and she must by then had resigned herself to her fate. The prophecy came to pass however and she bore a son. This event in her life was a joyous moment, not until her world came tumbling down.
Now as the child was growing up, one day he complained of severe headache whilst with his father who later sent him to his mother, only to die on his mother’s lap. In similar circumstances elsewhere, there would have been commotion, complete brouhaha considering that this was her only son. The woman must have mustered a lot of courage. “She went up and laid him (the child) on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.” (2 Kings 4:21) Rather unusual, don’t you think? Actually if we recap a little, at the point the prophet had predicted she would have a son, the woman had objected saying; “No, my Lord, don’t mislead your servant, O man of God!” (2 Kings 4:16)
When this happened therefore, she asked her husband to provide her with a donkey and a servant so she could go and have a word with ‘the man of God quickly and return.’ ‘Why do you have to go and see the man of God today?’ Her husband questioned. The reply came promptly “It’s all right.” Soon they were on their way in search of the prophet. From a distance, the prophet saw the woman approaching and suspected something must have gone seriously wrong. So the prophet sent his servant to meet her and ask “Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?” “Everything is all right,” she replied.
Was it really? Are you getting the picture? It was neither all right in the physical nor in the visible, but the lady by saying it was all right was confessing what she wanted the situation to be. She wanted her son to live and could not pronounce him dead. If you have observed, she did not break down or wallow in the mire. She went to where help could be found. To her husband she declared; ‘It’s all right.’ To the servant; “Everything is all right!” and to the prophet ‘Do something about it’ as it were, ‘it was your idea.’ ‘Only you can reverse what has happened.’ Nothing negative came out of her mouth, not a word to say she accepted the circumstances either. She was not despondent. She said nothing to doubt the power of God to bring the child back to life!
She would not admit that Satan had triumphed or had had the upper hand. It had come too soon and that could not have been the Lord’s desire, he who gives freely. How could he have snuffed the life out of the child so soon? Anything that has died a premature death, do not accept it as definitive. If you cherish that thing so dearly God will bring it back to life. He is a wonder-working God. The woman cherished her child dearly to have accepted the dead penalty pronounced on him. By the very fact that she had laid the child on the prophet’s bed would tell you that the child would live or else that prophet would have been a charlatan, a fake.
When she got to the level of the prophet and held his feet, the servant tried to pull her away but the prophet asked that she be left alone. Then she uttered these words: “Did I ask you for a son my lord?” Didn’t I tell you don’t raise my hopes? “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” (2 Kings 4:30) Not until I get the result I am looking for.
Some of us would have accepted this as destiny, ‘The Lord gave the Lord has taken away!” and continue with life as usual. For this woman this was not normal. How could she have been offered a son she had not requested for and before she could even really nurture him to manhood death had snatched him away already from her.
When we are going through a process, God listens to the words of faith that we proffer. Words that honour him as Lord and Saviour can turn situations around for good. Let us stop seeing Satan’s actions in our lives as final. The devil does not have the final say, God does.
It is important who we share our grief with. People who do not share our faith or do not have the same level of belief that we have would make what is dead stay dead. Because her husband did not have the same level of faith that she had, she hid it from him until the result she got was what she had expected.
The prophet has sent his servant as advance party telling him what to do but he had returned with no conclusive result. Gehazi, the prophet’s servant went back to meet the prophet to tell him ‘the boy has not awakened.’ Gehazi was not a disciple worth is salt unfortunately.
In conclusion, believers are not immune to trials, disappointments, setbacks or hardship. What matters is how we respond to them. It is not God’s will for bad things to happen to us, so when they drop on our laps we must not accept them as the will of God. God does not want our children dead before they reach the ripe old age of seventy. That is a lie from the devil.
Our God is a good God!