2 Kings 8
Since I didn’t end up commenting on her in chapter 4, I’m glad the Shunammite woman is back again. You remember her: She was the gal who (along with her husband) built a room in their home for the prophet Elijah. And, in order to repay their kindness, Elijah told the childless couple that they would have a son. This obviously delighted the woman, but it was clear that she didn’t want to get her hopes up. What I really loved about her, though, was what she did when her son died of a head injury several years later. The woman went immediately to Elijah and said, "Did I ask you for a son, my lord? Didn’t I tell you, 'Don’t raise my hopes?'" (2 Kings 4:28)
In other words, the woman was upset that Elijah hadn’t left well enough alone. After so many childless years, the woman had learned to live without children. But to have one unexpectedly given to her... only to have him taken away... seemed cruel to her. In chapter 8, we learn—as Paul Harvey would have said—the rest of the story.
Some time after her son was resurrected, Elisha told the woman to take her family and live somewhere else because God had shown him that a severe famine would hit the land, and it would last for seven years. So, the woman took her family and moved to the land of the Philistines for seven years. When she came back, she found that her family’s land had fallen into the hands of someone else, so she went to the king to see if she could get it back. Not only did she get it back, but the king also decreed that she should receive "all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now." (vs 6)
Wow! What an incredible life’s journey this woman had lived with God! He worked a miracle to give her a son—to bring life where it seemed impossible. Then, He worked another miracle to restore the life after it had been snuffed out. Next, she experienced God’s intervention and sustaining grace in a time of severe famine. God provided a way of escape for her and her family when things were difficult. And finally, God was merciful in restoring her property, possessions, and fortune.
Did you know that God can restore everything? When premature death hits, when the famine strikes, when the storm comes... none of this can ultimately snatch us out of God’s hand or remove us from His care. In His good time, He can turn the death into life, bring abundance in the midst of famine, and restore everything we have ever lost. There is nothing too hard for Him, no obstacle too large to overcome, nothing impossible. As we continue to put our trust in Him, we will find—as did the Shunammite woman—that God can and will restore to us everything we have lost... and then, He’ll give us more.