Father, thank you for the nurturing love of a mother. That kind of love is a great picture of how You lead us by the hand and teach us Your ways. Thank you for mothers. May mothers throughout the world know Your great love and reflect it. May their children bless their mothers and their husbands praise their wives. Thank You, Lord!
Now there came a day when Elisha passed over to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman, and she persuaded him to eat food. And so it was, as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat food. II Kings 4:8
This Shunammite woman showed hospitality to Elisha. Hospitality (philoxenia) is demonstrated in the New Testament by showing love to strangers.
The Shunammite and her husband even prepared a room for Elisha to stay in when he came to their region.
The Shunammite was childless, and her husband was old, so Elisha told her that the next time he would see her, she would be holding a son. And it was so.
When the child was grown, the day came that he went out to his father to the reapers. He said to his father, “My head, my head.” And he said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.”
She held him in her lap until he died. Then she laid him in Elisha’s room and shut the door.
She called to her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and return.”
He said, “Why will you go to him today? It is neither new moon nor sabbath.” And she said, “It will be well.”
She saddled her donkey and set out for Mount Carmel.
Elisha instructed Gehazi to take his staff and lay it on the boy’s face, but the Shunammite insisted that Elisha go with her.
Gehazi laid the staff on on boy, but nothing happened. Elisha went into the room, laid on the boy and prayed. He walked in the house back and forth and then went into the room once more. The boy sneezed seven times.
“Take up your son.”
7 Characteristics of a Godly Woman
- Mutual respect. She suggested to her husband that they prepare a room for Elisha to stay in, and her husband did as she suggested. Her husband respected her.
- Wisdom. When their son was sick, the husband recognized that the Shunammite would know what to do.
- Hope. After her son died, she recognized that she could do no more, but she did not give up, and she told her husband that “It will be well.”
- Faith. She knew that the prophet of God, Elisha, did not give her a son to live just a few years.
- Action. She saddled her donkey and took off for Mount Carmel.
- Perseverance. When Elisha instructed Gehazi to go, she insisted that Elisha go to her son.
- Surrender. She surrendered her son to Elisha.
What if we possessed these characteristics as mothers and followers of Christ?
My prayer for you
God of peace, thank You for the Shunammite and the lessons she has to teach us as women and as mothers. So many times, we hold our children, teach our children, pray for our children, and things still go wrong. We blame ourselves, but this woman did not, she said, “It will be well.” Father, You are in control of our children and our lives. Help us to persevere in faith and surrender our children to You. In You all things work together for those who are called according to Your purpose. We surrender our children to You and declare, “It will be well.”
She, [Hannah] greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” 1 Samuel 1:10-11
Have you wept before the Lord, asking for a miracle? Have you made a bargain with God? That’s what Hannah did. Yet, the very thing that she asked for, she offered back to God.
Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh, although the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the LORD. “For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him.“So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:24-28
After Hannah gave Samuel to the Lord, God blessed her with three sons and two daughters.
When I was in junior high (now middle school), I used to bargain with God. “Oh God, make me smart. Give me that A tomorrow on the test, and I’ll live for you.”
I got the A’s, so I read my Bible diligently, thinking that was keeping my end of the bargain.
All my life, I was sickly, in and out of the doctors’ offices. In and out of the hospitals during my late teens.
Then, in 2001, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It had taken years to diagnose.
That’s when I found myself weeping and pleading before the Lord for healing. In November 2010, I gave the asked for healing back to God on November 21, 2010, when I told Him at a healing service that I no longer cared whether I was healed, I just wanted more of Him.
God healed me that night.
That healing turned my life upside down. God gave me the desires of my heart: healing, but more importantly, more of Him.
Whatever the desire of your heart is, plead, weep, ask persistently and then be williing to give it back for more of Jesus.
My prayer for you
Jesus, You said that whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for Your sake will preserve it. Thank You for including Hannah’s story in Your Word. Teach us the lesson of Hannah, and empower us to turn our lives over to You … completely … with reckless abandon. Thank You for Your gracious blessings. We love You, and we pray in Your name, Your essence, Your character.
What are you asking God for? Are you willing to dedicate it to Him?
My eyes rolled when I heard “Patience, Pluck, and Perseverance.”
Later, I came to understand the wisdom in those words, and without realizing it, I adopted the concepts … just gave them different words: wait for the Lord, possess His promises, walk in His power.
As I studied the Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, I was reminded of the great love a mother has for her children. I stood there and wept as I remembered that
… Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34-35
I know that there were times when Mama’s heart was pierced through when we were growing up, either by things we did or by things we experienced. Yet, as Mary, she stood by her children and served them. Patience, pluck, and perseverance.
I’m remembering the many afternoons that she sat with me in the hospital and the times that she sat with my brother in a small hospital in Weleetka, Oklahoma.
I’m remembering how she cared for Daddy in all his illnesses.
Mama’s life’s journey has been one of service, and like Mary, she has shown that her:
soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; …. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name.” Luke 1:46-49
The concept of those words carried Keith and me in the trials, walked us through the challenges, and pushed us towards the mountaintops. Patience, pluck, and perseverance … Waiting, possessing, and walking, step-by-step through the crooked, uphill, downhill, sometimes overgrown path that Keith and I have chosen as our life journey.
My prayer for you
Majestic Father, You have blessed us with mothers who have shown unconditional love to their families, neighbors, and communities. Thank you for our mothers. May we bless them and show them how much we love them. Amen.
May this day remind you of the many way that you have been blessed by your mother and the patience, pluck, and perseverance that your mother has shown in her service to her family and community. Won’t you tell your mother that you love her today?