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This long-awaited child filled her days with new purpose,

her hours with laughter and delight, beyond anything she could have imagined,

greater than anything she witnessed among her relatives and neighbors.

Of course, the blessing came with work, but work she gladly accepted.

Then after many days, after several years,

the child suddenly became ill,

was taken to his mother…

and on her lap he stayed

until breathing his last.

Did her spirit sag, realizing if she’d never opened her home to the preacher,

she would have never have opened her heart to such grief?

Or did she replay the countless gifts of moments enjoyed

since first feeling the fluttering in her womb…?

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I’m convinced this woman rested in the same contentment we see when first meeting her in Scripture.

What confidence she demonstrated in knowing exactly what to do.

Carrying her son up the stairs to Elisha’s room,

ever so gently she placed his limp body on the bed,

and then found her husband to request transportation

for taking her to the preacher.

He asked about her errand,

but all she said was,

It is well.

 Ordering the servant to drive as fast as he could,

they finally reached Elisha,

who wasn’t aware of the situation,

but was obviously concerned.

Once again she assured them, It is well.

But after dismounting she fell at Elisha’s feet.

Did I ask for anything from you? Request a gift, plead for a son? she reasoned.

Didn’t I beg you not to raise my hopes, only to have them dashed at my feet?

The servant, being younger, quicker,

was sent ahead,

as Elisha and the woman followed,

back to her home and family—

what was left of it, that is…

When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord…

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How many minutes passed, we do not know.

But eventually their prayers were answered,

and the child sneezed and opened his eyes(!)

His mother came into the room,

offered thanks to Elisha

and picked up her son

(and squeezed him to moosh—

my paraphrase!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

These recorded events in the lives of everyday people called by God’s name,

dependent on His mighty arm,

reliant on His immeasurable love,

justice,

strength,

grace…

are preserved for our benefit.

Those who look elsewhere for aid inevitably find themselves in greater need.

While those who look to the Author of their salvation,

discover His fingerprints stamped between every line,

and on every page…

with an ending beyond anything we could possibly dream up.

No need to spruce up the characters

or hide their flaws,

as have some.

Our hardships become God’s opportunities to prove Himself strong on our behalf,

to turn our handicaps into advantages,

our mourning into dancing,

our heartbreak into reasons for rejoicing.

When hope dies, we can with faith

lay our lifeless burdens before the Lord,

trusting Him to revive with His healing breath,

giving us renewed purpose, greater strength to face the future,

and another reason to worship.

(No made-up stories necessary.)

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