This woman opened her house for Elisha so he could come and stay every time he was in town. Later Elisha finds that she doesnt have any children and blesses her." 16Elisha said, At this season when the time comes round, you shall embrace a son. " Now after some time the woman did have a son and now am reading at the place where her son died due to some problem in his head(v19-20). This woman goes all the way to meet Elisha and then Elisha comes into the scene and the boy is restored to life.
Here are the lessons I learnt, even as the woman learnt as she went through the situation of her dead child.
- Anytime, God's ready-We may not be ready for the situations in our life, but God always is. Because He Knows the end from the beginning. (Isaiah 46:10). This woman had so got caught up with the way God was working in ELisha's life (since she'd been watching him from the time he had started staying with her and family) she knew she could go to Elisha any time. So when her husband doubted whether ELisha would help her "out-of-tern" so to speak, 23And he said, Why go to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath. And she said, It will be all right". She said it is all right.
- Out of the comfort zone-This woman had a room made for Elisha and she knew that Elisha stays with them every time he came to Shunem(v8-10), but this woman (once well-to-do and content) has now become desperate. She could have waited for Elisha's visit, but she didn't. Now this woman, who would have spent her entire life in the comfort of her home asks her husband "22And she called to her husband and said, Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, that I may go quickly to the man of God and come back again." She was leaving her home on a journey to meet Elisha, because she was met with a situation she could not deal with, but she needed a solution. I wonder if she would have dared to go that far out and go see Elisha . If her son wouldn't have died she would have never left her home. There is a stage in every believer's life, like this woman, when God will shove them out of their comfort zone so we will start running after God and go where He is. Not just on Sundays but every day, or any day when God calls.
- The Lord alone will help and lead-This woman's life was stirred up by the death of her child (the child was a gift from God) and now this makes sense to me, when God says his children will fly with wings like the eagles. Deuteronomy 32:10-12 says "11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. 12 The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him." When God stirs up our nest, He also hovers over us and spreads His wings and catches us in His wings. For this Shunnamite woman, Elisha was the only one who could help, because he was the one who blessed her with the child. So also, when our life is stirred (only because we should learn to fly, move onto the next step of our spiritual life) God is right there, hovering waiting and watching and if we should fall, He will catch us in His arms and ONLY HE CAN HELP and LEAD
- Faith ALWAYS counts-"25So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her afar off, he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite. 26Run to meet her and say, Is it well with you? Well with your husband? Well with the child? And she answered, It is well." Whats wrong with this woman, her son just died and she says It is well!!!. Thats how faith works, "1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1 She went in faith to Elisha, with hope that Elisha will surely know how to fix it.
- Are you talking to the right man!!-When Gehazi (Elisha's servant) met the woman, she had nothing to say to him but she pours out her heart before Elisha "27When she came to the mountain to the man of God, she clung to his feet. Gehazi came to thrust her away, but the man of God said, Let her alone, for her soul is bitter and vexed within her, and the Lord has hid it from me and has not told me.
28Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? Did I not say, Do not deceive me?" She knew the person who could help her, she did not linger around Gehazi but went straight to Elisha. When we're in a situation we don't understand, after all God had blessed that barren woman with the child, she went to the giver of all life. She knew Elisha was the man of God. So also when we're faced with situations we never though should have happened, we must run to the One who already knew. To God. The One who gave us life, ONLY can fix it. Else we'll be wasting our time and money with counsellors, evaluators, dictators, and all kinds of others who think they've got the right to tamper with life itself. Dont, lets run to the One who gave us life.
- God Himself will intervene- (v29-v35) Initially Elisha sends Gehazi with his staff to go heal the boy but nothing happens. Elisha then himself goes and the boy is brought back to life. God knows what will work for our situation and what will not, and in the case when nothing else works, no doctors are able to find the solution, no marriage bureau is able to find the right man or woman, God Himself will intervene and find the right answer for you. God will not stop at anything in order to bless, the one who has obeyed Him, had faith in Him and followed and run after Him.
- Stay with the Anointed One, not chase after anointings- Here is something wonderful I noticed, when ELisha sent Gehazi out to put his staff on the woman's boy, "30The mother of the child said, As the Lord lives and as my soul lives, I will not leave you." The Shunammite woman refused to leave Elisha. She was supposed to get excited and run after Gehazi and be there when her son would come to life, but she doesn't go with Gehazi who carried Elisha's staff, but stayed with Elisha. Many times, we get distracted by the wonderous things God does through a man and we start running after the man instead of God. We start looking forward for directions from the man, instead of God. We start trusting upon the man for our life, more than our God, without even knowing we would have run far away from the Anointed One, chasing after the anointing. God doesn't want us to run after the anointing, but to stay with the Anointed One, our Lord Jesus.
Conclusion: God has been so merciful to me in sharing such wonderful lessons from the life of the Shunammite woman. I am sorry for this being such a long post. I pray that you, my readers, will also be blessed, as I have been blessed learning this lesson. Remember, if you are a child of God and your nest has been stirred up, its only so you can learn to fly. And when you're in the process of learning to fly, remember God is by your side, with open arms so He can catch you if you fall. He's there hovering like the eagle hovers over its kids when they're learning to fly. Soon when we've learnt to trust our God with EVERYTHING about life, we'll be flying too and will become a blessing to people around, miracles from the Anointed One will change our situations. God will not stop at anything less than the best for His children, if only we have faith in Him and obedience to follow His lead.