“Everything is all right,” she said. II Kings 4:26
Post-Thanksgiving, God and I have had some on-going dialogue inspired by the passage about the Shunammite.
Here's the backstory. During the prophet Elisha’s visit to Shunem, he accepted a Shunammite woman’s invitation to stay at her house for a meal. On subsequent trips, he did the same. Eventually, she and her husband prepared a small room for him on their roof.
Over the course of time, he’d asked how he could repay her kindness. Elisha’s servant Gehazi pointed out that she was childless and her husband was old. That meant, if her husband died, she’d be left alone with no one to care for her.
Moved by God, Elisha told her that she’d give birth to a child a year from then—a son, to be exact. She hadn’t even asked.
God knew her need.
But fearful Elisha might be misleading her, she objected. (vs 16)
Don't our fragile hearts sometimes respond the same way? Lord, please do not make promises you don’t intend to keep.
Just as Elisha promised, she gave birth to a baby boy a year later. But at a young age, the boy suffered from an illness. She held her son in her lap until he took his last breath.
A brutal test of her faith, yes?
Before she set off for Mount Carmel to find Elisha, she told her husband, “It’s all right.”
Really? The son you were promised—whom you loved and needed—just died and … it’s all right?
On behalf of Elisha, Gehazi asked if she was all right, if her husband was all right and if her child was all right.
She said, “Everything is all right.”
The King James Version of her response is not to be missed. “It is well.”
Wouldn’t you love to have registered the tone of voice? Was it tremulous or steeled and confident in God’s unfailing love, despite great loss? Her countenance and body language had to be giving off “I’m grieving” vibes because Elisha acknowledged her bitter distress. (vs 27)
She knew the situation was not okay, but that God is immutably good.
Her faith stood firm.
And God worked through Elisha to restore her dead son to life (vs35-37)—and everything was all right.
Wonderful news for fans of happy endings!
During Thanksgiving, we may have been eye-witnesses to the fact that some of the situations and relationships for which we’ve labored in prayer are still not what they should be.
✶The lost are still lost.
✶The selfish are still selfish. (The time to ask if mama needs any help in the kitchen is not when the last dish has been put away.)
✶The childless are still childless.
✶The unforgiving are still unforgiving.
One of my favorite hymns, “It is Well With My Soul”, was penned in 1873 by Horatio G. Spafford. He wrote the lyrics while passing over the location in the Atlantic where his 4 daughters had lost their lives days before while on board a French vessel that’d been struck by a Scottish ship.
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
He was a man who’d lost all of his children. It stands to reason Horatio was strengthened in some measure by the faith of the Shunnamite woman.
And so can we.
God doesn’t demand we like our circumstances—He invites us to trust what we can not see. Because He’s actively at work, his gaze is ever on us, and his ear attentive to our cry.
No matter how things appear, let’s lift our heads and proclaim to the darkness that threatens to snuff out the light of our faith …
“Thank you, Jesus. Everything is all right. It is well.”
Points to ponder
When have you been able to say everything is all right when nothing appears to be?
For what people are you still praying for God to deliver or circumstances you’ve asked that he make right?
How can you hold fast to the faith of the Shunammite woman?
Thanks for reading!
If you were inspired by today's post and know others who would enjoy it, I'd be super grateful if you'd share.
1. Sweeter with You—book 2 in The Heart of Moreland Manor series (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.) is with the editor in chief. I await word about its release.
2. A Steel Rose, a contemporary romance novella set in central Washington, is part of a multi-author project (MAP) and will release March 28th, 2023!
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Until next time,
MARY'S FICTION SHELF
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