Recently I’ve wondered about some things for the first time.
If Elijah had not had his servant look for the cloud while he prayed, would it have come?
Elijah had already predicted in I Kings 18:41 after the mighty victory on Mt. Carmel that there was “a sound of abundance of rain.” But then he didn’t go eat and drink. He went to the top of Carmel, cast himself down, and put his face between his knees. I feel like he was holding on…praying.
Seven times he asked his servant to go look for the clouds that would bring the rain that was promised. Seven times!
Finally, a little cloud came in answer.
But I wonder, what if he would have left after his servant looked five times? Would a little cloud have come anyway? I guess I’ll never know.
In Sunday school class, we discussed the story where Elisha raised the Shunammite woman’s son to life again in II Kings 4.
This case was so unusual. This same godly man, Elisha, had such connections with God that he knew the exact troop movements of the enemy later in chapter 6. All of the enemy king’s words were being revealed to Elisha…even the words he spoke in his bedchamber!
Now he is perplexed. He does not know what is wrong with the woman when he sees her. He tells his servant Gehazi, “The LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.”
Elisha goes to the woman’s house and sees her dead child.
Here is one of the mightiest men in the Bible! He has a double portion of the Spirit given to Elijah. Many times he has an immediate answer.
My sons are going to be sold into slavery…go sell the oil in your house.
There’s death in our pottage…cast meal into the pot.
Naaman has leprosy? Dip seven times.
But this time, he doesn’t seem to know the answer. He shuts the door and prays. Then he stretches out on the child, and the child begins to get warm.
What a miracle!
But I think it’s the spot where I stop. I pray, and I start to see a small break in the granite wall. I go away rejoicing.
But the child is still dead.
Elisha got up. He paced in the house, walking to and fro. Then he went back up to where the child was and stretched himself on him again, and a breakthrough came! The child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
If Elisha would not have paced and prayed again, going back to the Shunamite woman’s son, would the child have come back to life?
Elisha had the faith and perseverance to see the spiritual battle to total victory.
Have I stopped praying many times after the child is merely warmer but not breathing yet? Have I seen a break in the granite wall and then gone away distracted, my attention on something else? Have I left the room where the child lay dead because it was too depressing to stay there any longer?
I thank God for all the immediate answers to prayer that I’ve had, but today my heart is crying to see victory after a struggle.
Not just a little warmth. I want to see the child up and walking around. I want to hear the words that Elisha said to the Shunammite after hours of a spiritual fight, “Take up thy son.”