Scripture Reference 2 Kings 4 : 28-37
28 “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?
29 Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.” 30 But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you. So he got up and followed her. 31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.” 32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 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. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.
After receiving the wonderful gift of a son, the Shunammite inevitably experienced the sudden and tragic loss of that wonderful gift and brought the matter to Elisha. If you read this account as described in its entirety you will find that the woman remained steadfast in her commitment to not only serve God through her hospitality but to also seek God tenaciously.
Her son’s sudden death must have devastated this woman as any child’s death would devastate a parent, but in this situation the woman is particularly distraught because she had not asked for the precious life that had suddenly been ripped away from her. In other words why would God give her such a treasure and then rip that treasure away from her? See Job 1: 21.
Now make no mistake about it, God had given the child to the woman through His miraculous provision and God also allowed that same child to die suddenly. These are issues and realities that are absolutely confounding the minds and hearts of faithful followers. There are things that can and do happen in this life that we cannot understand why God would allow it.
We must not allow this fact to influence us to turn our hearts away from God. The Shunammite did not turn away in bitter disbelief, in fact having suffered such a terrible experience she tenaciously sought out the man of God. She brought the matter to Elisha, the representative of God! In other words and in her own unique way she brought the matter to God! What did she hope to gain by chasing down Elisha? We cannot know exactly what was in her heart other than “bitter distress” as Elisha stated, vs 27, however the fact that she brought the matter to Elisha reveals to me a desperate attempt to seek God’s intervention. She was not satisfied that Elisha sent his servant to her house. No! She clung insistently to Elisha saying, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” There are no substitutes for the people of genuine faith! I too have said such a thing when in a place of bitter remorse acknowledging that God had allowed someone I loved to pass on, yet steadfast in my resolution to hold on to God by faith! Consider that she ran to Elisha with the crisis and she refused to leave his side.
This is the mark of true perseverance! In the face of devastating loss you can, no you must choose to persevere! God has not forsaken you! God loves you! Trust God with your heartache! You will witness His glory if you persevere in faith!