2 Kings has two passages mentioned about a woman from Shunem. We do not know her name, Elisa referred her as Shunammite. Accordingly to 2 Kings 4:13, she was quite well off. She enjoyed a good life, did not seem to need anything (while many were struggling at that time in Israel). She was generously and served the LORD with what she had.
But she had no son and her husband is old. This is the same old story we see in the Bible: godly people with no son to inherit what they had. Because of her faithfulness to the LORD and generosity, the LORD granted her a son through the word of prophet Elisa.
Everything went well, but one day, the boy probably got a heat stroke and he died (4:20). The woman filled with faith and went to see Elisa, held on to him until Elisa agreed to try everything he could to ask the LORD to save the boy. The LORD sometimes allows bad thing happens to us so that we can sharpen our faith, learning how to hold on to God and Him alone. All the material possession could not raise her beloved back to life. She needed the LORD.
Another incident is recorded in chapter 8, when the famine came, the family moved to Philistines. When the famine was over, she moved back and hope to claim back the land. You know it is easy, even today, when someone took your property and lived for seven years, it would be very difficult to get back what belong to you. However, because of the event that her son was restored to life, it became a testimony and the king granted the request.
Initially, she thought she had everything. She never thought she would need anything from the LORD. But eventually, she needed the LORD to take back her son and her belongings.
There are a few things we learn from this:
First, we need the LORD. Perhaps you feel like you have everything, a good family, a good job and a good saving. But the world we created is fragile; it is not dependable, only the LORD is our portion.
Second, hold on to the LORD when bad thing happens. He is all powerful and we need to trust in him and not to give up.
Third, submit ourselves to the LORD, obey Him and His word. He keeps what He grants to us.
August 3, 2017