Saturday, April 14, 2012

It Is Well


The Shunammite woman has a place in my heart.  She was a woman of substance, and hospitality:

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. (2 Kings 4:8 KJV)

She recognized Elisha as a man of God and opened her home to him. He offered a tangible reward for her thoughtfulness:

And 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. (2 Kings 4:13 KJV)

Don’t you like her answer? “I dwell among mine own people.”  That carries so much meaning.  “I don’t need anything.  I’m happily at home.”

Elisha’s manservant noticed a lack in her life:

And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. (2 Kings 4:14 KJV)

Within a season, that was remedied, and the child grew up, enjoying his father’s company:

And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. (2 Kings 4:18 KJV)

But when his head began to hurt, he was sent home to his mother’s care, which was not enough to save him:

And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. (2 Kings 4:19-20 KJV)

She places the child on the prophet’s bed and heads out to find Elisha. I think of Horation Spafford when I read her answer to his question:

Run 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. (2 Kings 4:26 KJV)

In the midst of loss, both Spafford and the Shunammite woman could say “It is well.” Spafford’s lyrics add “with my soul.”

Her story ended quite differently from Spafford’s.  Her son was returned to her, for how long we are not told. Spafford’s children were not. Yet, he could pen “It is well with my soul,” and the song today is seen as uplifting, a confirmation of the peace the Holy Spirit brings to us in spite of trials encountered.

Do we require the restoral given to the Sunammite? Or, are we capable of accepting the loss life brings into every life? Do we ask for miracles? Or can we accept that God’s will does not bring everything we want?

1 comment:

  1. Our girls sing the song about this story. God wants to see that it IS well in our hearts, no matter what comes our way, but too many times that is not the case for me.


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