Would people say you are a content woman? That you are satisfied with what you have? If you are looking for an example of a woman who is content, 2 Kings 4 introduces us to just such a woman. The Bible only refers to as the “Shunammite woman.” This nameless person is a picture of contentment.
This generous lady was from a town called Shunem. She was well-to-do, caring, generous person who used her resources to assist Elisha, one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament by providing him room and board. When Elisha asked what he could give her to repay her many kindnesses, she said, “I dwell among my own people.” In other words, “I have everything I need.”
The Shunammite woman helped Elisha because she sensed a need, not from selfish motives. Elisha rewarded her hospitality: because she had no child, he prophesied she would have a son in one year. And it happened just as Elisha said.
Her heartache— 2 Kings 4:18-21
Years later, the Shunammite woman’s son became ill while helping his father in the fields and later died in his mother’s lap. She took him to the prophet’s chamber, shut the door, and left to find Elisha.
This woman of faith asked her husband for a donkey to travel seven miles to Mount Carmel to find Elisha. When Elisha’s servant inquired about her family, she answered, “It is well” (v. 26). Only when she fell at Elisha’s feet did she tell him about her son.
Her faith rewarded— 2 Kings 4:32-37
When Elisha arrived at her house and went into the room where the dead boy lay, he shut the door, prayed to the Lord, and lay two times face-to-face on the boy until the boy’s life was restored. He then presented the boy alive to his grateful mother.
This woman understood contentment, service, and God’s grace. May you too extend kindness to others without expecting anything in return. May you delight in what you already have. May you look at your situation and your place of residence and say, “I have everything I need.”
She was childless yet content in her situation. What a great model! The Bible says that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6). The two go hand in hand. A person walking with God will be able to say, “If God hasn’t provided it, I don’t need it!”
Father, I am so richly blessed by You. Forgive me for the times when I focus on what’s missing in my life. Like the Shunammite woman, I want to know and experience peace, plenty, and joy as I focus on all that You have provided. Amen.
Do you yearn for a closer walk with God? For a greater understanding of what it means to let Him live through you? For the marks of His presence in your life? Author Elizabeth George gives practical help for how you can do that in this study of the fruit of the Spirit, A Woman's Walk With God.
Be sensitive to the needs of others. How aware are you of those who pass by your home and flow through your life— especially those who teach God’s Word?
Jesus said serving others is as simple as giving a cup of cold water (Matt. 10:42).