2 Kings 4:8-37 gives us the incredible story of Elisha and his dealings with a woman from Shunem. We read of the woman’s gracious hospitality to Elisha in 2 Kings 4:8-10, “And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.”

To show his gratitude for her hospitality, the prophet promised this barren woman a son. We read in verse 16, “And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.” This was just too good to be true, but according to Elisha’s word, the woman had a son. We read in verse 17, “And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.”

Even as Sarah had believed and bore a son, this Shunammite woman also believed and bore a son. However, in the course of time, this promised son died. Let’s read 2 Kings 4:18-20, “And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.”

Exhibiting remarkable faith, the woman laid her son on the same bed that Elisha had slept on. She gathered her servant and ordered him to drive in haste. She went to Mount Carmel where Elisha was. Upon seeing her coming, Elisha instructed his servant, Gehazi, to meet the woman and enquire as to her well-being. We read in verses 25-26, “So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite: Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.” Her son of promise was dead, yet in the midst of her great sorrow she could say, “It is well.” Although she gave no information about her son to Gehazi, she saved that for the prophet, she commented that all was well with her. How often we restrict our words, ‘it is well’, to when we are filled with food, we have a nice house, we have a nice car, we have all our physical needs met. Yet, in the midst of her suffering, this faithful woman trusted in the Lord and announced that all was well with her, her husband, and her son. I encourage you to read the rest of this portion to learn how that Elisha followed this woman home and raised her son from the dead.

What an example of faith this woman is to us. Instead of despairing when her son died, she instead, presented her problem to the Lord’s prophet and laid it at his feet. This woman’s faith was so great that she is mentioned in Hebrews 11, sometimes called the ‘Faith Chapter’. Hebrews 11:35 tells us that, “Women received their dead raised to life again…” Surely this is in reference to this dear woman.

May we imitate this woman’s faith. Let us keep our eyes upon the Lord, trusting Him in all situations, and realizing His faithfulness, so that when we are called upon to go through difficult times, we might say, even as she did, “It is well.” (170.3)