2 Kings 4:26-28 – Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well. 27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. 28 The she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?
I have often applauded the woman of Shunem for her great faith. Her family back on the farm was rapidly falling apart. Her only son had just died while on her knees. Her husband knew this and chose to stay at work instead of coming home to be with her and console her. Disconnect and distress aptly describes her present dilemma.
And yet when the prophet inquired about the welfare of herself, husband, and child, she answered that everything was fine. Faced with woe, she stated that all was well. I’ve examined that and consequently exalted her faith. It preaches well, but practically, it’s not a practice to emulate.
Here is why.
She wasn’t honest about the horror she was hiding deep inside her heart. The inward emotional pain was weighing her down. The forced smile and positive statement were concealing the flood of sorrows drowning her soul. Burying your burden within can lead your faith and soul to an early grave.
The prophet saw immediately that she was vexed in her soul. Please note that while the prophet was able to foresee many things, God kept hidden from him her inward plight. Many times God will reveal secret things to the spiritual leaders in your life, but not always.
Often I’ve inquired about somebody’s personal condition simply because I didn’t know. A pastor cannot help heal what you refuse to reveal. There is no glory in concealing the inward waves of emotion that are tossing your soul to and fro. The froth of those waves is too salty and unmanageable to be kept secret. Ingested for even a short time can lead to long-term injury.
The prophet did discern that she wasn’t being honest with him. Like a cancer, her condition was eating away at her emotional health. First of all, she never asked for this child in the first place. Secondly, the prophet never mentioned this catastrophe would be imminent. She felt betrayed. She accused the prophet of being deceitful about the child. Honesty began to gush forth as if a valve had been opened. This honesty shed light on her need and enabled the prophet to act in a supernatural fashion.
Honesty is the pathway to healing. It’s not easy to talk about the wounds that handicap our souls. But it is necessary.
The church has patterned this persona: wide smiles and wounded souls. It’s vogue to be vague. Don’t let anybody know you are hurting. Handle it all on your own. Maybe it’s because confidentiality has crashed and burned. Perhaps it’s because we feel like as emerging disciples we should learn to manage our own mishaps.
Jesus couldn’t carry the cross by Himself; why do you think you need to?