Her son grew old enough to be a help in the grain fields, although we do not know his exact age. One certain day, however something unexpected happened to him while he was helping his father. He cried with pain saying, “My head, my head!” That was a cry of pain his father could not deal with. But his mother could. It seems to me that when God created woman, He gave her a larger heart to feel her children’s pain. So the child was sent home to mother. We read that “he sat on her knees till noon and then died.” How many hours was he in that situation? We do not know, but we understand the tears of anguish that rolled down his mother’s cheeks. We have an understanding of the extent of her suffering in those hours, as she witnessed her son agonizing with tremendous headache! But when he took his last breath she transported him to the prophet chamber and laid him on his bed. On the silence of her grief, she planned a trip to see Elisha. When her husband asked her the reason for her trip, she just answered, “It will be alright.” Her faith took root in the words, “It will be all right.”
In the urgency of the moment, she hurried the servant to go fast. It was past noon, the sun was hot. The Prophet Elisha lived twenty miles away; it was necessary for her to arrive at his place before dark. Twenty miles away by car is not far, but by donkey it is a different story. It was not that he could do a 0-60 in seconds, as we can today!
From the distance, Elisha saw her coming and wondered why she had made the trip, for the Lord had hidden that from him. He sent his servant to greet her asking these questions: Is it well with you? Well with your husband? Well with the child? And she answered, It is well. Until then she was carrying the burden of grief alone. But when she came near the prophet, she clung to his feet with bitterness of heart and in disturbance of mind; she asked the question, Did I desire a son of my lord? Did I not say, Do not deceive me? What is in between these lines of questions? Perhaps she was implying that since the son given to her was not her request, it was for Elisha now to do something to bring him back. When the Prophet Elisha sent his servant to bring her son to life, her reaction was, “As the Lord lives, and as my soul lives, I will not leave you”. Then Elisha followed her home. He, not Gehazi, was to bring her son to life, as she requested. So it happened that Gehazi, after having done everything according to what Elisha commanded him to do, was not successful. Meeting Elisha on the way back he reported to him that the child had not awakened. Arriving at her place, Elisha shut the door of his chamber behind him and prayed to the Lord. Then he made contact with the child by putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. He stretched himself on the child and embraced him. The child’s flesh became warm. He did a second time, after having walked through the house and the child sneezed seven times, and opened his eyes (II Kings 4:33-35). Resurrection power entered the body of her child and life was given back to him. Joy filled her heart; she fell at Elisha’s feet bowing to the ground. Then she took her son and went out (vs. 38). All was well from the moment that she trusted God to bring her son to life instead of burying him!
The testimony of this woman teaches us a few things: (1) God should be the first One we must take our burdens to; (2) stay in His presence long enough to hear from Him (3) leave, believing that all is well, even in the midst of chaos and uncertainties. The Shunammite woman’s faith in God rewarded her throughout her life because she had learned to say, It is well with my soul in hard circumstances.
When Abraham was told to sacrifice his son to the Lord, he believed all was well because God could bring his son to life again to fulfill all His promises given him. When he uttered the prophetic words, “God Himself will provide a Lamb for the burnt sacrifice”, he believed all was well in the present and would be for the future, because God’s son was the Lamb provided for the sacrifice that would save the world. And in those mountain ranges YAHSHUA fulfilled the prophecy Abraham had uttered thousands of years previously.
The Patriarch Job was a blameless and upright man who feared God. He was also wealthy and very successful in all he touched. His faith was tried one day when he lost everything, including his health and his children. In all this Job remained steadfast in his faith and said, Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord! (Job 1:21). Through all the months of Job’s sufferings he knew that all was well, because, he said, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last He will stand upon the earth and my skin, even this body, has been destroyed, then from my flesh or without it I shall see God, Whom I even I, and my eyes shall behold Him, and not as a stranger! (Job 19:25-27a) Even though He slays me, I will trust in Him; He knows me and He is mindful of my needs.
Paul lived a hard life of suffering. But nowhere do we read about him complaining because he believed in the sovereignty of God. He testified that all was well in spite of being hedged in on every side, but not cramped or crushed; suffering embarrassments and perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; pursued, but not deserted; struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed; always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our body.” (II Cor. 4). He had one goal in his life: to carry in his body the dying of YAHSHUA, that the life of YAHSHUA also may be manifested in his body (paraphrased).
The Prophet Habakkuk in times of his great needs proclaimed the sovereignty of God. He implied that “All was well” Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, though the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk and make progress upon my high places [of trouble and suffering, or responsibility] (Hab. 3:17-19). In other words, though I do not have a job to pay my bills and money to support my family, though there is no food in my kitchen pantry, yet the joy of the Lord will be my strength; for He is my refuge, my fortress in time of trouble; He is my God. In Him I will trust! Therefore all is well with my soul!
God’s faithfulness is not to be measured by tangible things only, because his faithfulness is clearly visible in adversities. A place to experience God’s faithfulness is in the valley or in desert of life. It is there that we learn to see the unseen and hear the unheard about Him. And like Job we say, “I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You!” When we learn to say all is well in the midst of our sorrows and disappointments, we have learned the secret of faith and we have learned to please God!