Hello Mummy Meditators! Welcome to week 8 of our current series, and to a very bizarre part of the story of the Shunamite Woman. We know that last week her son passed away whilst sat on her lap, a very sad week indeed. But this […]
At the start of this week, we were all feeling heartbroken. Standing in the shoes of this woman after knowing her heartbreak at being barren. After begging Elisha NOT to give her a son and get her hopes up. She now sits and watches her […]
Happy Sunday everyone! This week we have carried on our look at the story of the Shunamite woman, and its been a very raw week. This was the verse we were meditating on:
“Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.” “No, my LORD!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!” 2 Kings 4:15-16
After reading this passage initially I was overcome with the feeling of hopelessness that this woman felt in regards to her fertility. So many of the amazing mums in our group shared storied of similar hopelessness, where they were still waiting on healing, children, or other things to come to fruition, and that the longer they waited the less hope they had. They also talked about how when other Christians come in and make false promises, platitudes or give false hope, that it just makes it so much harder. It makes the pain that little bit deeper. Something that perhaps you had once made peace with it brought to light again and the wound reopened. It is a terrible situation this woman is found in. And in the previous verse she asks for nothing in return for her hospitality to Elisha. It seems particularly cruel that he should come up with what he thinks is a “helpful” plan, when actually from her side it is one that reopens this wound of fertility. She is woman who has lost all hope of having a child.
When I played the woman’s words over in my head this week, along with the sadness and lack of hope, there was also a tinge of optimism in there, in the tone of the words perhaps (might just be me!!). That she kind of wants the man of God to disagree with her and tell her that what he is saying is true, but she’s also scared of that reality. I think this is because of the source of the words, not the words themselves. If it was anyone else then they would be shut down completely, but because these words come from “the man of God” whom she respects and admires, and knows to be a prophet, they hold more weight.
Let us take wisdom from this, that we should be careful who’s words we take seriously. When the message TRULY comes from God, then we can take hope it in. God does not fail on his promises to us. But when it comes from people ,even people with the best intentions, we need to be careful and not fall for false hope. That is what will lead us to pain.
Hospitality filled the gap
Finally, my thoughts went back to last week’s verse and the outrageous hospitality that this woman lavished on Elisha (and I’m sure others too). It got me thinking – was she doing that to plug the gap where she thought a child should be? To make her days full with the sounds of other people in her house? To give her a purpose for the wealth that she had, so it wasn’t just wasted at the end of her life? Or was she desperate to love others in the midst of her pain, letting nothing stop her heart for looking after people? I’m not sure, and it probably doesn’t really matter, but sometimes the circumstances in our lives give us reason to find other routes or ministries that we wouldn’t normally have looked at. Maybe without the pain of not having children, this woman wouldn’t have opened up her home to others and loved them like she did, her story wouldn’t be here in the bible to push us and inspire us to be more outrageous with our hospitality, and so the pain moved her to be incredible in that area. Maybe your pain and hopelessness will push you to something that you wouldn’t have looked at otherwise too.
The story moves forward again next week, as we jump into a time when the woman has seen God come through on this promise and she finally has her son. I hope you’ll join me in meditating on the following verse:
“After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.” 2 Kings 4:20-21
I’ll be back in the Facebook Group for a live discussion on Monday night at 9pm, please do set your alarms to join me then!
Happy Sunday Everyone! It has been really interesting jumping to the New Testament this week and looking at a woman who is spoken about almost every Easter in the preparations for that special day. Often the same thing is said about her every year, and so I was really looking forward to stepping into her shoes – were you? Our verse this week was:
“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.” Matthew 26:6-7
Extravagance in action
When reading this verse, the first thing that jumped out at me was the extravagance of what this woman is doing. In a culture where we are being made to think more about how wasteful we are, this seems very wasteful. And a culture where oil and perfume are not used in the same symbolic way, it just seems like a down right odd thing to be doing! But that was not the case then. Yes this was an expense outpouring, but to pour oil or perfume or other things would not have been out of the ordinary then – it was called anointing.
Anointing for a reason
Anointing was a ritual act performed for many varied reasons. One reason was hospitality – to show someone that they were welcomed in that place. Others included to introduce a divine influence or presence, to rid people of dangerous spirits, to mark someone out as holy, to refresh or invigorate the person, or before people were buried. There could be many of those reasons that this woman is using to anoint Jesus in that moment – lots of people say it was to prepare him for his death and burial, but she could just as easily be showing him hospitality.
In HER Shoes
When we tried to step into her shoes this week, we all came back with differing opinions as to why we thought she was doing this. Gratitude, devotion, showing Jesus how precious he was to her. So many reasons are possible, and one thing is for sure, it certainly took quite a bit of boldness for her to step out and do this. She must have really sensed and known that this was what she should do – whether God put that desire in her heart to honour Jesus in that moment and worship him through this act, or it was just an idea of her own, it is still a very bold moment. She would have known that there would be comments and lots of eyes looking at her, even if it was more normal for anointing to happen at that time. She was putting herself out there for the sake of Jesus, to love him and show him something deeper than words could. That to me is inspirational. How often do we chicken out of doing something big and showy for God because we are afraid of the eyes looking at us, the opinions, the judgements of others?
We are staying with this story for one more week, and I think this verse will answer the question “why was she included but not named?”.
“Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Matthew 26: 10 and 13
I will be starting to unpack this verse in our weekly Facebook Live video over in the Facebook Group at 9pm on Monday night so please join me – I’d love to hear what your opinion is on this unnamed woman in the bible.
Happy Sunday everyone! This week we have completed our look at the widow with oil, seeing how the story ended and stepping into her shoes as God fulfilled her need (and more!). Have you enjoyed this story? This is the verse we were meditating on […]
After a much needed “rest week” I am really happy to announce the start of “Hello My Name Is – PART 2”. This time we will be looking at 3 more unnamed women at the bible, and finding out why they were important enough to be included, but not important enough to be given a name.
For those who are new – each week we will have a new verse, announced on the Sunday, to meditate on, ponder and study during the week. Feel free to share any thoughts or questions about that verse in our Facebook Community. There will be the discussion prompts and live video chats to join in, as well as free resources to help you.
If you want to equip yourself even more, then check out the two resources kits that have been put together especially for this series:
Don’t forget, if you join the Mummy Meditations Family membership scheme, not only will you get a free gift, a weekly email with the verse right to your inbox, but also 50% off the digital kit!
RIGHT – so what is the first verse of the week you might ask? Here it is:
“The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” 2 Kings 4:1
Well, its the last week of the series, but don’t worry! We will be back (after a week off) to start looking at some more amazing unnamed women in the bible. This week, we were looking at the character of Jairus’ Daughter, who was suggested […]