“When the man of God saw her at a distance, he said to Gehazi his servant, ‘Behold, there is the Shunammite. 26 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 the child?’’ And she [o]answered, ‘It is well.'” (2 Kings 4:25-26).
I was reminded of a great truth today. The context is a story about Elisha and a Shunammite woman in whose house he had stayed. She had given birth to a son late in life, probably the only child she would ever bear, only to watch him die in her arms. His body was still warm when she spoke those words.
How could she say, “It is well,” after losing her only son? I don’t think I could. I might be raging and cursing and lashing out at God and everybody else, but “It is well” would be the last words out of my mouth.
Those words she spoke are a perfect picture of the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is circumstantial, depending on what happens. Joy is not. You can be supremely unhappy and still have joy, because joy is grounded in the knowledge that God will make every thing right one day.
In her case, God worked through Elisha to bring her son back to life. Sometimes he makes things right in this life. But not always.
I was also reminded of the story of Horatio Spafford, a man who wrote a very famous hymn. He had send his wife and three daughters across the sea to England, but was unable to accompany them due to some business he had to attend to. On the way back, the ship collided with another vessel and sank and his three daughters drowned. His wife sent the infamous telegram that read “Saved alone.”
When he was on his way to meet his wife in England, he passed the spot where the horrific accident had occurred and penned these 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”
I pray for that kind of faith that can bring me joy even in the worst of circumstances, knowing that even in those times God is still in control. May your joy never waver and your faith in God only grow stronger in the days to come.