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Biblical stories of eighteen New Testament women who Jesus encouraged, empowered, and loved.

When a Woman meets Jesus, BookHow could a man who had no wife, no children, no home, no job, no money, and wandered the hills of Judea with twelve men relate to women of his time, much less women in the 21st century?

That's the question that led author, Dorothy Valcárcel, to search for biblical women whose lives intersected with Jesus. As she explored the lives of every woman Jesus met, she discovered that they faced many of the same challenges women encounter today.

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Devotional Week 45 Wednesday

“At the end of seven years she (the great lady of Shunem) came back from the land of the Philistines and went to the king to beg for her house and land.”

II Kings 8: 3

N.I.V.

Today’s Study Text:

“At the end of seven years she (the great lady of Shunem) came back from the land of the Philistines and went to the king to beg for her house and land.”

II Kings 8: 3

N.I.V.

 

“God Will Take Care of You” Part 23

“Go To The King For Redress!”

“If you are a child of God whose hearts desire is to see God glorified through you, adversity will not put you down for the count. There will be those initial moments of shock and confusion. But the man or woman who has God’s perspective on this life and the life to come will always emerge victorious.”

Charles Stanley

(1989)

Has there been an event in my life from which my perspective created an irrational view of what was transpiring?

In what ways has God given me the opportunity to see the events in my life from a heavenly viewpoint?

“There are certain things in this life that God can reveal to us only in the midst of adversity. There are hidden places deep in our souls He can reach only through our suffering.”

Mary Nelson

Grace for Each Hour

(2005)

“Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30: 20, 21).

“In all trouble you should seek God. You should not set Him over against your troubles, but within them. God can only relieve your troubles if you in your anxiety cling to Him. Trouble should not really be thought of as this thing or that in particular, for our whole life on earth involves trouble; and through the troubles of our earthly pilgrimage we find God.”

Augustine of Hippo

            For seven long years, the woman of Shunem, along with her entire household, had sojourned in a foreign land – the land of the Philistines. I can hardly begin to imagine what life might have been like once those seven years came to an end. Who knows when the questions began to be whispered, “Can we start packing? Can we go home?” I know if I had been in that household, I would have tried to find out if the famine in Israel was near an end. Who wouldn’t want to head back to the places they were familiar with? And so on one particular day, a group of former residents of Shunem began the long trek home. However, upon arriving back in their homeland, much to their dismay, their homes were occupied by others and their fields were taken over by other landlords as well. What a shock!

            Now it may have been that the lady of Shunem had left her home and land in the caring hands of folk she thought she could trust. How the land was to be cared for while she was “out of the country” isn’t explained in the Bible. Whatever the situation, we know that there is no mention of her husband at all. This leads one to come to the conclusion that since he was previously referred to as an “old” man, he most likely had died. So as a single mother with a young son, this dear lady would have rightly needed her home and land, not only for herself, but also to pass down as an inheritance for her son.

            Sadly, as the lady of Shunem looked over the perplexing situation she faced, I can’t help but believe that her hopes were dashed, and rightly so. She may have said to herself, “I followed God’s instruction. I did what He said to do and for what reason? Now I have nothing!”

            Maybe you have found yourself facing a similar plight. You’ve obeyed God. You have followed His counsel. You have listened for His voice. You have believed His words. And after doing what you knew God called you to do – boom! The bottom has fallen out of your world. Nothing worked out as planned. You’ve been left without a home…without any way to make a living…without a dime to pass on to your family. And you find yourself in the shoes of the lady of Shunem.

            I believe it is appropriate at this point in the story of the great woman of Shunem to read the words of Sir Walter Scott who rightly noted “adversity is like the period of the rain…cold, comfortless, unfriendly.” I have to believe that the woman of Shunem felt the rain on her cheeks and quite possibly thought that her friends were few. But, I want to add, if her heart was without hope, she didn’t express any doubts in Elisha or her heavenly Father. Instead, as Sir Walter Scott continues, “from that season (of rain came) the birth of flower, fruit, date, the rose and the pomegranate.”

            From tragedy came triumph. From adversity came an advance. As the words of the British playwright William Shakespeare so aptly conveys:

“Sweet are the uses of adversity,

While, like the toad, ugly and venomous,

Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;

And this our life, exempt in public haunt,

Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,

Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.”

            This is exactly what the lady of Shunem found when instead of grumbling about the narrow straits she found herself in, she took her problem directly to the king.

            How about you? How about me? When challenged by unknown and unplanned adversity, how do we react? I’d like to share the perspective of Bible commentator Matthew Henry who offers us this insight on the reaction of the woman of Shunem:

“At her return she found herself kept out of the possession of her own estate, it being either confiscated, seized by the lord, or usurped in her absence by some of the neighbors; or perhaps the person she had entrusted with the management of (her land) had proved false…so she made her application to the king himself for redress.”

            What a beautiful thought: “She made her application to the king himself for redress.” I ask you, during your time of unthinkable adversity, have you gone directly to your King and asked Him for redress? In her book Bitter-Sweetness, author Rebecca Lusignolo acknowledges, “Adversity can drive us to our knees in despair or depression or it can drive us to our knees in humble recognition of our dependence on the Father.”

            If today you find yourself in a time of tribulation with adversity pounding your life on all sides, never forget, you have a King, your King, who invites you to call upon Him for help when you’re in trouble and then He promises, “ I’ll help you, and you’ll honor Me” (Psalm 50: 15, The Message Bible).

“God’s people have no assurance that the dark experiences of life will be held at bay, much less that God will provide some sort of running commentary on the meaning of each day’s allotment of confusion, boredom, pain, or achievement. It is no great matter where we are, provided we see that the Lord has placed us there, and that He is with us.”

John Newton

 

 

“She cannot heal who has not suffered much,

For only Sorrow sorrow understands;

They will not come for healing

At our touch who have not seen the

scars upon our hands.”

Edwin McNeill Poteat

            Obstacles

“For every hill I’ve had to climb,

For every stone that bruised my feet,

For all the blood and sweat and grime,

My heart sings but a grateful song –

These were the things that made me strong!

 

For all the heartaches and the tears,

For all the anguish and the pain,

For gloomy days and fruitless years,

And for the hopes that lived in vain,

I do give thanks, for now I know

These were the things that helped me grow!

 

‘Tis not the softer things of life

Which stimulate (our) will to strive;

But bleak adversity and strife

Do most to keep (our) will alive.

O’er rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep,

But brave hearts dare to climb the steep.”

Author Unknown

Your friend,

  Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author

When A Woman Meets Jesus

Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com

   

 

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