Forthright Magazine

It will be all right

Have you ever received something you really didn’t expect or even ask for, but it was wonderful when you received it? And did you then lose it and no longer have it? This is the situation we find in Elisha’s life.

In the course of his travels as God’s prophet to Israel, Elisha frequently passed through Shunem, near the Jezreel Valley. He met a wealthy woman who invited him to eat with her and her husband whenever he passed through. Wanting to help Elisha she had her husband build a small room on top of their house for him to stay in whenever he was in the area.

Elisha then wanted to do something for her. She and her husband were old and had no children. Elisha had his servant call her.

“‘About this time next year,’ Elisha said, ‘you will hold a son in your arms.’ ‘No, my lord!’ she objected. ‘Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!’ But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.” (2 Kings 4:16-17 NIV)

What a great blessing! When they would have given up hope a child was born into their family. They became a family of three and enjoyed the blessing of a son. Then disaster struck.

“The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. He said to his father, ‘My head! My head!’ His father told a servant, ‘Carry him to his mother.’ After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died.” (2 Kings 4:18-20)

We can imagine how distraught the mother would be! The son she had never asked for but had been born to her was no longer there. What was she to do? She knew the solution: go and see the man of God. When asked by her husband why go and see him when it wasn’t the time for a sacrifice she simply stated, “It will be all right” (1 Kings 4:23 NCV).

This is a good lesson for us. When life tumbles in and we don’t know what to do, turn to God. That is the solution for us the same as it was for the woman from Shunem. We need to talk to God and listen to him through his word. Sometimes we seem to forget that God is the one we need to consult, that his word will bring us comfort when we are in distress.

When the woman arrived at Mount Carmel to see Elisha she told him what had happened. He immediately dispatched his servant to lay his staff on the boy’s body. He then travelled to Shunem with the mother, a distance of around 27 miles.

“He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got onto the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.” (2 Kings 4:33-35)

Can you imagine the joy of the mother when Elisha called her in to get her son? All this happened because she knew what to do – to consult God before doing anything.

That is the lesson for us. When life tumbles in we need to turn to God. God is there and he cares. Turning to God will make it all right. We need to remember that God knows what is best for us and our loved ones and he will be there for us. He doesn’t promise to do what we want but he does promise to be there, giving us the comfort we need in difficult times.

Photo by Jon Galloway: Jezreel Valley looking towards Shunem.

Readings for next week: 2 Kings 6-12


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