In verse 18 of chapter 4 we come to a crisis. This son that God miraculously provided to the Shunammite woman is now grown. He is working in the field with his father and those gathering the harvest. Suddenly he complains of pain in his head. His father sends him home to his mother. Servants carry him home, where he is cared for by his mother until noon. At noon, her son passes away.
Note his mother’s first response: she lays her sons body on the bed of the prophet. She knows exactly where to go with her grief. She sent for her husband to send one of the servants and a donkey, so that she could seek Elisha quickly, and come back again. She was confident not only of reaching Elisha, but she was confident that he would return with her immediately. She had faith–confident assurance that he would come and that God would act.
Her husbands response is interesting–he asks her why she is seeking Elisha now. This seems to indicate that she had not even shared this crisis with her husband–why? Supreme faith and confidence that hope was not lost. She simply says, “All is well.”
How could she possibly say all is well, when her only son has just died? Because she realized this life stabilizing truth–regardless of the storms we face, God is still on His throne. Tempests may rage, but they are measured and meted out by God’s sovereign hand. “No storm can shake my inmost calm, when to the rock I’m clinging; if Christ the LORD be on my side, how can I keep from singing.” While she may not have been singing at this point of testing in her life, we can be confident that she is trusting. This grace to trust God through trials is available to you today.
As this godly woman nears Elisha on Mt Carmel, he sees her and sends his servant to greet her. When he asks her if all is well, she again responds in complete faith and confidence in her Lord and says the same powerful words, “all is well.” God is in complete control of every detail of your life. Regardless of your trial, armed with this life stabilizing truth, you too can state with confidence, “all is well.”
This godly woman is not without human emotion. It is not wrong to feel pain. It is not wrong to weep. It is not wrong to cry out to God. This is exactly what she does when she reaches Elisha. Notice, however, to whom she cries out. She doesn’t cry out to her husband. She doesn’t cry out to Elisha’s servant. She cries out to the man of God–the one who is able to go to God for her.
When you hurt, when you grieve, when you ache–go to God! He alone is able to soothe your heart. He alone is able to meet your needs. Run to Him.
Notice her resolve as well. Elisha sends his servant with his staff to the boy, but this woman states her determination to not only go to God, but to cling to him when she says, “I will not leave you.”
So much can be learned here. What is your initial response when you face a trial? Who do you run to? You must run to God. When you turn to God, how determined are you to cling to Him? If only we had this response, if only we had this resolve.
It is one that God honors.
The staff Elisha sent did not revive the boy. Elisha then goes in to the room. He closes the door. He prays. He places himself on the boy–just as his predecessor Elijah had done for the deceased son of the widow woman from Zarephath. And just as in that narrative, God’s answer is not instantaneous. The flesh of the child became warm, but he was still not revived. Elisha walked back and forth in the house, then again placed himself on the child. Praying for God to again do a miracle. Personally invested in this act of God–seeking as it were to impart his own life into the child. God answers the prayer of his servant, and the child revives.
God answered the prayers of his servant, God met the needs of the Shunammite woman.
God can do the same for you today. God still answers prayers. God still works miracles. God still meets needs. God wants us to respond to Him in this way. We may not always see such miraculous answers. But we can be confident that He is the Source of hope and encouragement through trials. That even when we are grieving, when we cling to Him, we too can say, “All is well.”