The Shunammite Woman: A "Model" of Overcoming
We see a great example in a woman in the Bible in 2 Kings 4:8-37 who walked through the pain of life and overcame her trial. We don't even know her by name; she is the "Shunammite" woman. She was a notable woman married to an older man and she was barren. She had a desire in her heart to be a mother, and in her culture it was a disgrace to be barren. She suffered great pain and discouragement from this trial in her life. How do I know this? From the answers of her mouth.
One day she perceived that a man walking by her house was a man of God. She invited him and his servant in. She spoke with her husband and asked that they make a small upper room for him so he would have a place to rest on his journey.
One day, Elisha asked her what he could do for her; could he speak to the king or the commander of the army? Her answer was, "I dwell among my own people" (v. 13). Elisha's servant, Gehazi, told him that her husband was old and that she had no son.
Elisha called for the woman and said, "About this time next year you shall embrace a son" (v. 15). Her answer was one that he probably wasn't expecting: "No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!" (v. 16). Her answer, "I dwell among my own people," tells us she is happy, she is content and "I don't need recognition." Her next answer says, "I have been through the hurt and heartache of having no son. I have accepted my situation, and I don't want to go through that again!"
I don't know how long Elisha had been walking by her house. Maybe years, maybe all the years she was walking through her trial of trying to understand why she was barren. But we do know that one day she perceived the man of God.
I believe she was in a state of peace when she perceived! She had come to the place of trying to work out the details of her life. When we are in anxiety and fear, it stops the flow from our innermost being, our spirit.
In this testimony it states three times, "one day." Your situation can change in one day! You must guard your heart and pursue peace. God brought her answer to her door. The day she perceived this was a man of God was the day her miracle began!
As we read this testimony, we see her son, who had been promised to her, died! Her faith in God was tested, and we know that she overcame because her heart was established and her mind was in peace! Isaiah 26:3 tells us, 'You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Peace is linked to the way you think!
Your lack of peace is not because of the trial you are walking through or because of a person who you feel is making your life miserable; the problem is that you have allowed your mind to be dominated by what you can see, taste, hear, smell and feel by hashing over and over in your mind different scenarios and possible outcomes. All the while, God's peace has been present in your spirit, but it has been shut out by the turmoil of you mind.
You must renew your mind and release what is on the inside and let His peace flow!
Joyce Tilney is founder of Women of God Ministries, teaching women today from women of yesterday. She is author of 3 books including Why Diets Don't Work – Food is not the Problem. This is not another diet plan, it is a battle plan! Visit her websites at wogministries.com and whydiets.com.
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