Life is great at throwing curve balls at us. And when we get hit with one, what’s the first thing we do? If you’re anything like me, your answer is….”Phone a friend”!God has been dealing with me on this for a few months and if at any point I’ve ever tried to ignore His subtle nudges…there was no ignoring Him when he meticulously orchestrated my Bible Plan to land on 2 Kings 4:8-36 the other night. The Woman from Shunem. I hear ya, Lord. I hear ya.
This woman from Shunem (who I will be calling “Sally” simply because Sally from Shunem sounds cool) has to be some kind of super shero because the strength she had was nothing short of a super power. We consider life’s curve balls a flat tire or an unexpected medical bill but what if the curve ball was something as devastating as loosing a blessing you never thought you’d get. What if that blessing was your child?
Initially we meet Sally feeding and housing the prophet Elisha when he visited Shunem and in return Elisha prophesied that she’d have a son. Despite the natural odds (her husbands age) stacked against her, she did have a son.
But once the body grew older, we see him getting sick and later dying in Sally’s lap.
The ultimate curve ball.
Most of us experience things that only a fraction of the devastation of this and the first thing we do is talk to whoever will listen. But Sally, the SuperShero from Shunem (say that 5 times fast) was nothing like us.
Immediately, she carries her son’s body to the room she’d prepared years ago for Elisha, lays him the bed, shuts the door and leaves him there.
Next, she tells her husband to get her servant and transportation ready for her to go see Elisha. He asks her why and she replies “it will be all right”. Not once does scripture specify that she told her HUSBAND that their son was dead!
Keep in mind, Sally is HUMAN. I’m sure the gravity of her sons death made fear, doubt, anger, and hurt grip her heart but she kept her composure.
When she gets to Mt. Carmel, she’s greeted by Elisha’s right hand man; Gehazi who asks her if she’s ok. Again, Sally holds it together and tells him that everything is fine. But when she finally reaches Elisha…the floodgates open! She weeps and tells Elisha exactly what’s wrong.
Elisha then sends Gehazi to resurrect the boy but Gehazi was unable to. Sally remained persistent and confident that the source was here only hope. She begged Elisha to go to her son himself. He did, and the boy was resurrected.
Woah! Just…woah! So much to be learned from this story…and this woman!
Reality VS. The Source: Although “Sally” recognizes the reality of what had happened, she never lost focus of the source! She was DETERMINED to take her ISSUE back to where it initially came from.
Comfort VS. The Source: We can’t get so comfortable with the blessing that you forget the source of it when things seem to go south.
Our Mouths VS. The Source: We have to learn to be QUIET about our issues until we speak with the source. If we’re honest, often times when things start going wrong we speak to people before we speak to God. Yes, a listening ear is a blessing within itself but not before you speak to God! “Sally” knew that if she’d told her husband about their son’s death, he may have panicked and caused her to doubt. His doubt could have changed the entire outcome. And although Gehazi was Elisha’s right-hand man, she knew He was not able to perform as the source. (Sidebar: Sometimes we treat our pastors like Gehazi. Just because he/she is in a position of power doesn’t mean they are he/she can perform what only God can.)
Being someone who likes to talk and hear other’s opinions, this lesson is hard for me. Sometimes it feels lonely and (transparent moment) like I’m just talking to walls. But each time I’ve gone to God FIRST, he’s taught me the benefit of leaving outside voices outside. There’s peace in knowing what He has to say before I’m bombarded with what everyone else thinks.
With all that said, take any issue you may have to God before you run to friends or family! Because he is ultimately the only One who can fix our issues, resurrect dead situations, and heal things that have been broken.