While reading about the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4, Claire McGarry learns the value of creating a space for God in her home, and in her heart.
We outgrew our first home in Massachusetts soon after having kids. Moving north over the border into New Hampshire got us double the square footage, but we quickly filled this home too by acquiring more stuff. There are days when I feel like there's nowhere to go to escape the racket and chaos. That's why it's so important to copy the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4.
So she (the Shunammite woman) said to her husband, "I know that he is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him ... so that when he comes to us he can stay here." (2 Kings 4:9-10)
I've heard it said that whenever a person is mentioned in the Bible, but he or she isn't given a name, it's to point to a universal truth we can all apply to our lives. The woman from Shunem knew it was necessary to make a space for the holy man of God, Elisha. She built a small room on the top of her house and furnished it for him. In the process of hosting Elisha there each time he visited Shunem, the woman formed a special relationship with him.
That's how Elisha comes to know her deepest desire, without the woman ever expressing it. As a way to repay her kindness, he fulfills that need by telling her she and her husband will have a son within the year.
It's also that special relationship that inspires the woman to be so bold as to seek Elisha out years later when that son dies. She knows what Elisha's capable of. Her faith in him is so deep, she won't leave his side until he comes back into her home. When he does, Elisha once again performs a miracle for her without being asked: raising her son from the dead.
We can learn so much from this woman. When we carve out a space in our home and calendar that we use for prayer, and create a welcoming space in our heart, God comes. Hosting Him on a routine basis creates a special relationship, one where He knows our deepest desires without us uttering a word.
Whether He grants them or not, once that special relationship is built and nurtured, we're emboldened to bring Him our all: Our trials, triumphs, praise and petitions. That's how we get to know His heart, and keep Him in ours.
Copyright 2020 Claire McGarry
Image: Pixabay (2012)
About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and All is Blessing: Finding God in the Tensions of Life, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.