REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on August 4, 2015, is written by Tina Hsu who serves as AMI missions coordinator. Tina, a graduate of Biola University (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.), was recently married to Anthony. Congratulations.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“An Encouragement to Those Who Want to Isolate Themselves”
2 Kings 4:22-27 (NASB)
Then 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 or sabbath.” And she said, “It will be well.” Then she saddled a donkey and said to her servant, “Drive and go forward; do not slow down the pace for me unless I tell you.” So she went and came to the man of God to Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her at a distance, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, there is the Shunammite. Please run now to meet her and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with your child?’” And she answered, “It is well.” When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came near to push her away; but the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is troubled within her; and the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me.”
When I am going through a tough time, my natural tendency is to withdraw and isolate myself from people and from God. Usually it is because I’m afraid to face my troubled emotions or I turn to my own strength to deal with the matter. The faith of the Shunammite woman encourages me to do the exact opposite. When I want to isolate myself, I should instead run with all my determination and might to the presence of God.
The book of 2 Kings begins with Ahaziah, the king of Israel, inquiring Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, for his illness. King Ahaziah does not give any regard to the God of Israel. He does not inquire of God’s word. In contrast, the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4 determines to seek God and only God when she faces with troubling news. After offering hospitality to Elisha the prophet, the Lord blesses her with her first and only son. However, her son gets injured and dies in her arms. Though she is broken and troubled in her soul, she shows determination to find Elisha, the man of God. Instead of asking her husband to find Elisha, or sending her servant to find Elisha, she herself saddles a donkey and brought with her a servant to “run to the man of God.” She instructs her servant to lead her quickly and to not slow down until she reaches Elisha at Mount Carmel and appears before him to catch hold of his feet.
What stands out in this passage is the woman’s response to her husband and then to Gehazi, Elisha’s servant: “It will be well, and “it is well.” In her crisis and in her desperation to inquire of Elisha the prophet, she displays a steadiness of heart. Knowing that she could have access to inquire of the Lord gave her the steadiness of heart to say, “It is well.”
Knowing that God’s presence is a steady and constant shelter awakens my troubled soul to say “it is well” and to draw near to seek Him.
Prayer: Dear God, forgive me for isolating myself from You and trusting in myself or other means to find safety and shelter in times of trouble. Help me to seek Your presence and truly believe that You are my ever present help in time of trouble (Ps. 46:1)! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 9
Lunch Break Study
Read Mark 5:25-29: A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse—after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Questions to Consider
- What was this woman’s situation?
- What did she see in Jesus that led her to approach Him in the crowd and to touch His cloak?
- In light of the woman’s determination to touch Jesus’ cloak, how are you encouraged to seek the Lord today?
- She suffered from bleeding for twelve years. After spending money to seek the help of physicians, she only grew worse. Because of the purity code in 1st century Israel, she was socially ostracized and had to identify herself as “unclean” in public so that people would stay away from her, or else they would become defiled if they came in contact with her.
- She probably heard and saw that Jesus was not bound to the purity code. He approached and laid hands on lepers, paralytics, the blind, and the lame. His word and His touch made the unclean clean! She thought she could find healing and love in His presence.
- Personal response
Psalm 36:7 says, “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Spend some time praising and thanking God for His steadfast love, even when circumstances are uncertain and unsteady.