by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
“And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers, and he said to his father, ‘My head, my head!’ So the father said to a servant, ‘Carry him to his mother.’ When the servant had taken the child and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died” (2 Kings 4:18-20).
The Shunammite woman.
A miracle son now dead.
This promised child – promised like Isaac to Sara, and Joseph to Rachel, and Samuel to Hanna – this child died. Unexpectedly. Without reason. Faith and sight began its wrestling match in the broken heart of a mother.
The Shunammite woman carried her son to the upper room she had prepared for Elisha when he passed through Shunem. She gently lay her son with his blanket of death upon the prophet’s bed, shut the door and went out to find her husband. Desperation fought to strangle her, but determination of faith kept her sane. She asked her husband for a donkey and a young male servant that she “may run to the man of God and come back.”
Upon saddling the donkey, the woman said to the servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.”
From the heights of Mount Carmel, Elisha recognized the woman. He sent his servant, Gehazi, to run and meet her because he sensed something was wrong. Following Elisha’s instructions, the servant reached the woman and said, “Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?”
And she answered, “It is well.”
Although in the darkest corners of her mind, she knew her child was dead, her answer remained, “It is well.”
The servant helped her ascend the heights to Elisha. As soon as she saw the man of God she fell to his feet and grabbed hold of his ankles, perhaps clutching to her faith. Her desperation was winning the battle, yet her faith, just moments earlier had declared that all is well.
The Shunammite woman poured out her heart to Elisha, “Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me’?” Her frustration, fear, and disillusionment oozed out of the broken places as she pictured her beloved son lying dead back home.
But her faith believed her son could and would live again.
As I read this story I thought about my dire circumstances. I thought about how many times I’ve run to the Lord, my robe of righteousness flapping about my ankles until I fell before Him, desperately clinging to His promises, desperately reaching for my faith that says, “It is well.”
Like the Shulammite woman I’ve learned to say it is well because the Lord is who He says He is – my Redeemer, my Refuge, my Provider. In the midst of sorrow and fear and confusion and devastating loss – those things that will suffocate us when walking by sight – I can say, “It is well,” because I know He is who He says He is.
And what about for you? Yes, you can say with me it is well because He is who He says He is to you – your Hope, your Peace, your God.
But that battle between faith and sight is real, isn’t it?
When the Shulammite woman and Elisha arrived back at her home, Elisha went to the boy, praying, obeying, and effectively raising him from the dead. Elisha called for the woman to come and see for herself that the son she adored was alive.
Before the woman picked up her son, she fell at Elisha’s feet and bowed to the ground in thanksgiving. The scripture doesn’t tell us, but I can imagine this was a very emotional moment for her.
The battle between faith and sight had been fierce.
Faith had won.
But you know what else? In my heart of hearts I believe this woman could say, “It is well,” no matter the outcome. When we come face to face with the Sovereign Lord, trust swells, faith deepens, and regardless of our circumstances we can say, “It is well.”
A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Where is God when I can’t see past the battle? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)
If God be for us, who can be against us? Riveting question, isn’t it? My book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife, will remind you of this truth and take you on a journey of healing from wounds inflicted in the lonely fires of ministry.
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