Friday, March 16, 2007

It Is Well

Often we read the bible or passages in the bible without *getting* it. Many lessons can be found in one passage of scripture if we take the time to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us, teach us, and encourage us. I don't want to miss a thing. I want the passion and the message poured into my life, as well as flowing out, for others to see, hear and know Jesus! It's about glorifying Him.

My last post I talked about hearing the gospel and as christians, we may have heard it so much that we are not *moved* by it anymore. I find this true as well in reading the scriptures. How many times have we read about miracles and instead of being awed, we have taken it lightly? I mean, you know where we read about the hand of God doing something so divine and because there are only a few verses depicting it, we don't comprehend the full magnitude of what God is trying to say to us. I realize God may emphasis certain scriptures during times of our life to minister to us and use the same scripture at yet another time to minister to a different need. This is just another awesome thing about our Lord. God is the same. He hasn't changed. He wants us to know Him and acknowledge Him for all that He is!

I think this was a lesson on the power of the tongue, but it also displays the power God has placed within us, as women. I want to go ahead and share the wondrous message of last Sunday's service and some of the nuggets I came away with. I have read this before, but I had never *gotten* it the way I did Sunday. In 2 Kings Chapter 4 the word says this

8. And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
9And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.
10Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.

How many times have you read verse 8 and realized the woman was "great"? I hadn't. Another thing I had not thought about was this husband/wife must have had wealth. In verse 10 it says they built a little chamber or room. This was apart from the rest of the house, meaning it had it's own entrance for Elisha to come and go as he pleased. Something else, she recognized the anointing of God upon Elisha's life and she wanted to be a help to him. She did this without expecting anything in return. How do I know this? Read verse 13 carefully.

11And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there.
12And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.
13And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people

In verse 11 I imagine Elisha going into his private room for rest, maybe after a time he had spent ministering, and thought about all the needs of so many. And then maybe after all the needs of others came to mind, he thought about how nice his room was and how good his supper was. (verse 8) It says that as often as he passed by he ate. He knew he could count on a good meal as well as a place of rest. Considering these things, he wanted to bless her for being a blessing to him, but when called for her and asked what he could do for her, she didn't ask for anything. Whether it was because she had need of nothing or either she was content, I do not know, but Elisha wanted to do something for her and asked Gehazi his opinion on the matter.

14And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.

She did not ask for a child. I don't know if this was an unspoken desire of hers or if Gehazi just thought this was the perfect blessing for her. The scripture doesn't state that here. In my own opinion, I think by her reaction in verse 16, she may have had the desire, but given it up long ago. In the next few verses, we read of the son being given to her and the sudden death of him.

15And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door.
16And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
17And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.
18And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.
19And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother.
20And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.

Here in verse 20, I cannot, and do not want to imagine the grief and utter shock this woman was going through. What I do want to draw attention to is the strength and faith of this woman. Also in verse 23 what she told her husband when he began to question her about why she was going to see the man of God. IT SHALL BE WELL. She did not tell him the boy was dead. I can't imagine how she was able to keep it together without telling him. The power of words.

21And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.
22And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.
23And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.

In verse 24 I see a woman with a mission. She saddles her own donkey while her servant looks on. Shouldn't he be doing this? Once saddled, she informed the servant to get her to the man of God and get there quick. And not to slow down unless she told him to.

25So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:

Just for a smile moment.... did you catch that southern vernacular in verse 25? " Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:
Emphasis mine on yonder. *smile*
I believe when Elisha saw her coming he knew something must be wrong. This was a woman that would not just come for a visit. Another reason I believe he knew it to be urgent is he told Gehazi in verse 26 to run to her. Notice the questions he told him to ask her and notice her answer. It is Well.

26Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well:

She was not wasting time and didn't want to talk about it with anyone except the man of God. She would not be deterred until she got there. Notice what verse 27 says. She grabbed him by the feet. I picture this woman falling at his feet in such sorrow and pain. She had to touch him, he had to know her hurt. Again, verse 28 makes me think she secretly desired a child, but never verbalized it for whatever reason. Look at what she says. I can sense the grief in her words..

27And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.
28Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?

In verse 29 Elisha sent his servant, but this mother was not going to settle for that. She had come all this way and she was determined. She let Elisha know she wasn't going anywhere until HE went to her son. It's apparent Elisha knew she wasn't playing and she wasn't planning on giving up. Look at what she said in verse 30. I am sure she said those words and I think a little more cause look what it says after that.........."And he arose and followed her." I think he learned a little about dealing with a determined woman. Don't you? *grin*
29Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.
30And the mother of the child said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her.

The rest of the story goes on to tell of how her son was restored. Can you see her now? Picking her son up after his life was restored and taking him into their part of the house. Going on into the kitchen to prepare the evening meal for the family like nothing happened. Imagine the conversation around the table when her husband came in to eat. Remember, he had been in the fields. He may have asked her about her trip or maybe she told him everything. Maybe she didn't. Maybe she repeated her previous statement. All is Well. I don't know, but Praise God! What a wonderful thing, but what if the woman would have done things differently? What if soon after her son died she would have went out to her husband and told him the horrible news. I pray I am never confronted with anything like this. When I tried to picture myself, I didn't see me being as strong. I would have probably ran out out of the house screaming for my husband. I'm not saying we shouldn't share things with our spouse, because we are. We should be as one, but in this case, she knew better. Was it because she knew what he would have said to her? Would he have shared her same desperation and faith or would he have joined in mourning and held a funeral? Therefore never knowing the joy of having their son restored. I don't know. I hope you seen the strength and faith of this woman like I did. God has placed something within us, ladies! I know we feel insignificant at times, but God has faith in us. Isn't that wonderful?

It is well. Can we say that with confidence? When I mentioned the power of words, I am not talking about "positve thinking" neither am I saying that we should bury our heads in the sand and act like nothing is going on. I am saying that we need to recognize our problems and then acknowledge God and allow HIM to be God in us!

I know this has been long, but I know it has been worth the time to read. I saw many things in this I had never seen before. Even as I read it again for this post. Something else important here, this is more than a story. It is an actual event that took place. More than one lesson can be taken from this and applied to my life. How about you?


Denise said...

Wow, bless you my friend for sharing this. This really touched my heart, what amazing strength and faith she possessed. We as women, need to fully grasp the strength that we possess in our God. I love you sweety.

Sharon said...

I am so glad you stopped by my blog, now I can read yours! I so enjoyed your post on this Scripture. What amazing faith this woman had! I have my own small trial to deal with and this has really helped me. My daughter, who has a God-given talent to play stringed instruments and is currently in a Southern Gospel group, recently has had a sudden hearing loss in her left ear. The doctor said to come back in 6 months for another hearing test as this will determine whether or not her hearing will come back. We are believing God to restore her hearing fully regardless of what the Dr. says. Therefore, we are patiently waiting on God.

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this! You never know who it might help. :)

Debbie said...

Hi Sharon! I'm so glad you came by here and thanks for the encouragement. I will be agreeing with you on the restored hearing of your daughter. We serve THE GOD, not a god!! Hallelujah!

Sharon said...

Thank you Debbie!

lady of value said...

Great post Deb! Hope you had a good weekend!

BrideOfChrist said...

Awesome :) I completely understand what you mean that so often we are so comfortable and "familiar" with God's word (or at least WE think we are!) that we often skim over things or run through our daily reads just to check it off our "to do" list that we completely miss what God had intended for us to understand and finally grasp in that reading. I must admit that I am very guilty of this and is something I struggle with deeply. I am a religious studies major (along with my elementary ed major) in college that I read the Bible SO much in a "scholarly" light that often I am unable to read it through God's eyes or at least in a way that He would have me read it. Any advice for being able to soak in His word better would be MUCH appreciated!

Thank you for sharing :) I always love your perspectives on things!