In Shunem, a wealthy woman urges Elisha to stop in for a meal and he does. Every time he comes to Shunem, he comes by this wealthy woman’s home to eat with her and her husband. The woman recognizes that Elisha is a man of God, so she asks her husband to make a small room on the roof of their home as a place for Elisha to sleep whenever he comes.
The room contains a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp. One day, Elisha goes up to his room to rest on his bed. He says to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” When the wealthy woman comes to Elisha’s room, he asks her what he can do for her since she has been so generous to him.
The woman implies she has all she needs, saying, “I have a home among my people.” (2 Kings 4:13, NIV)
Elisha ponders, “What can be done for her?” And Gehazi suggests to the man of God that the woman has no son and notes that her husband is old. Elisha has Gehazi call the woman back, and as she stands in the doorway, he says to her that by this time next year she will have a son.
The woman protests. “Don’t mislead [me].” (2 Kings 4:16) Yet, she becomes pregnant and has a son, just as Elisha promises.
Her son grows, but one day finds his father who is out with the reapers in the fields; and cries, “My head! My head!” The boy is taken to his mother who holds him on her lap til noon at which time her son dies. She takes her son, lays his body on the bed of Elisha, shuts the door and goes out. Elisha is not there. Accompanied by a servant, she rides a donkey to find Elisha at Mount Carmel.
Elisha sees her coming from a distance, and sends Gehazi to meet her and ask if everything is alright. She says that everything is alright, but she keeps coming to Elisha. When she reaches him, she takes hold of Elisha’s feet. She is in great distress, but Elisha does not know why.
“Did I ask you for a son, my Lord? Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes?’” (2 Kings 4:28)
Elisha sends Gehazi ahead to lay his staff on the boy’s face. Gehazi does so, but the child does not come to life. Gehazi returns to Elisha who is traveling with the mother back to Shunem. When Elisha reaches the house, he finds the boy, shuts the door “on the two of them” and prays to the Lord. He stretches out on the child, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands twice. The boy sneezes seven times and opens his eyes. Elisha calls Gehazi and tells him to call the Shunammite, which he does. When she comes, Elisha says, “Take your son.” (2 Kings 4:36) And she falls at his feet and bows to the ground. She takes her son and goes out.
Father God, sometimes we are afraid of the good things You give us. We are so afraid of losing them, of them being taken away from us that we hesitate to ask You for them in the first place. We sometimes doubt Your loving-kindnesses. Help us Lord to always trust that what You have in mind for us is the very best. In Jesus’ Name, amen.