Her son was dead. The miracle baby born to her and her much older husband at a time when she no longer expected fruit from her womb. As a matter of fact, when Elijah had told her nine months earlier that she would embrace a son, she had replied, “O my master, O Holy Man, don’t play games with me, teasing me with such fantasies!” (2 Kings 4:16, The Message). She didn’t believe him. But in the very next verse we read, “The woman conceived. A year later, just as Elisha had said, she had a son.” However, some years later, in what seemed like a cruel twist of fate, the child laid dead at home, in the same bed Elijah slept in when he was in that part of town.
She asked for an ass and with her servant, went hastily to Mount Carmel to meet Elijah, who, when he saw her in the distance, sent his servant to her with questions of concern – “Is something wrong? Are you all right? Your husband? Your child?”to which she answered, “Everything’s fine,” or as the KJV renders it, “It is well” (v.26). Didn’t she hear the last question clearly? Nowhere do we read of a public mourning over the death of her only child. Her husband did not know the child had died; she had simply told him, “Don’t ask questions; I need to go right now. Trust me” (v.23b). She had not told the neighbors, no expression of anger at God, but even as she laid the boy in the room, and despite her soul being in distress (v.27), deep within her was a quiet resolve that if she could get to the man of God, all would be well.
In verses 28-37, we see how after a series of events, the boy was miraculously brought back to life. But as this story ends with a mother and son reunion, we are individually challenged by a lingering question: How would you and I respond if God, in His Sovereignty, took someone or something from us that was very near and dear to our hearts?
When Horatio Gates Spafford received news from his wife that their four daughters were lost at sea, he made his way to his grieving wife. Later when the two met Dwight Moody, Spafford told him quietly, “It is well. The will of God be done.” Spafford would later write the words: “When peace like a river, attendeth my way / When sorrows like sea billows roll / Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say / It is well, it is well with my soul.”
What would you do? Could you say and believe those words?