, , , , , , , , ,

ElishaPart 3: The Resurrection Room

In 2 Kings 4:8-37 there is a story about a woman who was gifted with hospitality. She saw a holy man of God come to her village and she invited him to her home for dinner. He (Elisha) was so comfortable in her home that every time he passed through her town he’d stop, visit, and have a meal there. The woman was so blessed by his presence she asked her husband if they could build a guest room for the man of God and he agreed to build it up on the roof. She then decorated it with a bed, a chair, and a table with a lamp stand.

One day Elisha stopped by to rest in the woman’s home. As he lay down on the bed to rest in his new bedroom he called for her. As she stood outside his room he asked her what he could do for her, but she replied she had no special needs. Elisha later asked his servant what might be a gift for this woman who was so generous. His servant told him that the woman’s husband was old and that she had no son to care for her when her husband died and she got old. Elisha then called for the woman and told her that she would be pregnant and have a son the following year. She pleaded with him not to lie to her. But she did conceive and had a son the next year.

Years later the son got a terrible headache. The woman sat him on her lap and held him until he died. Then she carried her son upstairs to the holy man’s room and laid her dead son on the bed and closed the door. She then went out to the field where her husband was working and asked him for a donkey to carry her where Elisha was. He didn’t understand why, and the woman never answered his question, she just said, “It will be all right.” The husband gave her the donkey and a servant to lead it.

The woman and servant traveled until they came upon Elisha. When he saw her from a distance he sent his servant to ask her: “Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?” And she answered, “It is well.” When she got closer to Elisha she rushed to him and fell at his feet, but she didn’t say anything. Elisha knew she was in terrible distress. She finally asked, “Did I ask for a son from my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not give me false hope?’” Then Elisha knew something terrible had happened to her son. The Lord revealed the need for a miracle of resurrection for her son, so Elisha sent his servant to run and then place Elisha’s staff on the child’s face. As the servant left, the woman told Elisha that she would not leave him. It was her way of saying the only one she knew could help her was Elisha and his God. So Elisha went to the house and saw that his servant was unable to heal the boy, so Elisha sent everyone out of his room and closed the door. He then began praying and touching the boy (some have said that it looked like artificial respiration or CPR). After some time the boy came back to life! Elisha opened the door and gave the child back to his mother.

When the tsunami came to my family this past summer I remembered this story.   Since God knew I’d need this story He sent me to a retreat in May. The leader there talked about the need in our lives to see this woman’s faith and how we can place our needs for a miracle in the “resurrection room.” I’d like to share with you the things I learned from this teacher and from walking it out in my life this past month. Although we are still walking through the debri the tsunami left behind, I am daily standing outside the resurrection room believing that my God is going to open the door and hand me the miracle He has been working on in there.

First, let’s look at the woman in our story. We are not even sure that she is a practicing believer, but her heart is soft for the things of God. She sees the anointing on Elisha and knows that he is a “holy man of God.” She wants to be a part of what God is doing in her town and so she uses her gift to bless the representative of God. She not only feeds him but she goes over and above to provide an especially nice place for him to stay. In those days guests would often be allowed to sleep on the roof on a bed of hay, or in some places, they would make a shelter out of 4 posts and a roof for shade, but this woman and her husband went above and beyond and made a complete room for him with four walls, a roof, and a door! No wonder Elisha wanted to bless her.

We know that the woman was barren which was interpreted as, at the very least, that she was not blessed by God. When Elisha prophesized that she would have a child she did not want him to pour salt into her wounds by offering her greatest desire and not having it come to pass. She didn’t want to believe in a miracle that might not come, but God gave her a son just as Elisha said.

You can imagine what that did to her faith. As the son grew so did her faith. But then came that fateful day when the son died! Instead of being devastated and crying out and blaming God she knew who could help her reach out and touch God for another miracle. She carried her son, her only son, to the room upstairs where the holy man of God stayed, and closed the door.

Notice that she went out to the fields not to tell her husband or anyone else what had happened, but to get a ride to the man of God who could get in touch with God and His power. When her husband questioned her, all she said was “It will be all right.” Can you imagine that? I’d be a basket case. Her son is dead but she does not take the time to grieve, she puts footsteps to her faith and heads out to the one who in those days could bring forth a miracle of God.

When she gets close to the prophet his servant is sent out to question her about her need. But she will not speak to him about the problem she has. She wants to talk to the person most closely connected to the Lord. This woman is walking in faith. Unlike me, who wants others to listen to my problems and commiserate with me and pray for me, she goes directly to God (in those days you went to the prophet to go to God for you) for her miracle. In my time of tsunami I felt the Lord say, “See this woman, that’s how I want you to behave.” He released me to tell 4 people about what was overcoming me, but then He said, “Pray. Then daily place this problem in the resurrection room and close the door.” You see, the first thing we often do is run to someone to tell them what the tsunami is doing to us, and the last thing we do is pray. When we tell our story over and over about how awful it is, the telling of it chips away at the faith we need for a miracle. What we need to do is spend more time praying and less time talking to others about our problem.

The Lord was saying: “Charlene, you have to put this before me first. Gather the promises, put your name and the names of the ones you are praying for into the scripture promises and then at the end of your prayers of faith, place the problem in the resurrection room with me and close the door. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Depend on me. Don’t run to others and rehearse the problem. That only tears down your faith. For this you need to stand in faith and wait and see what I am going to do with this as I breathe new life into it. I will be in charge of any change, any revival, any renewal, restoration, or even a new creation as I am the one who can take the broken thing and bring it forth as new again. Trust me.”

I have heard of putting something on the altar, but that really didn’t make a powerful statement to me in this day and age. But there was something about putting something in the room with the Holy Spirit and closing the door that struck a chord with me. I remembered a time in Luke 8:49-56 that Jesus went into a room and closed the door and resurrected a dead girl. Then my mind went to the very tomb that he was buried in. It was a room inside a rock and they closed the door (rolled a large door-like rock over the opening). Then all was quiet while the Lord God worked and at the right time the door was opened (the rock was rolled away) and Jesus was resurrected from the dead. So when the tsunami comes and it all appears dead around you and there is no way this problem can be solved by normal means, put it in the room with the Lord and close the door believing that He brings dead things to life again.

So what do you do when you are outside the door? Do you peak in? Do you knock and see if it will open? No, the Lord tells us to “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” Where have we heard that before? Do you remember when Moses led the people out of Egypt and they victoriously marched out until they came to a body of water that was too big and deep to cross and the Egyptians were chasing after them with their chariots? Then the Lord had Moses lift up his rod and the waters parted, the people walked across on dry land and then watched as the Egyptians followed them. But when they got in the middle of the river bank the water came over them like a tsunami wave and washed them all away. Ex. 14:13 (AMP) says: “Moses told the people, ‘Fear not, stand still [firm, confident, undismayed] and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again.’”  Basically “Be still and know that I am God.” He’s got you covered.

Interestingly enough, a similar scripture is found in Ephesians 6:13 (AMP): “Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].” After you have prayed, after having heard from God as to what you are to do, then after having done those things, stand and believe that the Lord’s promises are true. (Your problem might be your own, or a problem that your adult children are facing, a health problem, a financial problem, a spiritual problem, an offense or unforgiveness you have been unable to couquer, or any other problem you might face that is bigger than your ability to change it.)

Then it is time to place the problem or the person in the resurrection room, close the door, and stand in faith believing that that is all you can do. Wait on God. If you find that the problem has leaked back out into your day, put it back into the room. Pray your scriptures and go on about your day. (One way of standing is recognizing that the problem is being taken care of by God and that there is nothing more you can do.). I have found that this procedure has given me more peace than I have ever had before when I was running around trying to fix stuff myself and worrying over the situation. Sounds a bit like “cast your cares” and “take My yoke upon you….”

One last thing we can learn from the woman in this story is that she didn’t accept a substitute for God (the servant of the prophet) to solve her problem. In her day the prophet (Elisha) was the one who heard from God and was anointed to do mighty miracles. Today, because of the death, and resurrection of Jesus, if we are born again we can go directly to the Lord and ask for him to come to the room where our dead problem lies. We can invite the Lord God Almighty, not a man or a woman into the room, for no man or woman no matter how anointed they are has the perfect answer for the tsunami that has come. Although God will often use anointed men and women to lay hands and pray over the dead thing, it is the Lord God Almighty who raises the dead and no other. God will not share His glory with another. So go directly to God and place your problem in the resurrection room with Him and close the door, leaving the results to the God who loves you, and wants all things to work together for good for you. “He did not bring this to stay, He brought it to pass.” Stand still and see the salvation, the rescue, the mercy, the goodness, and the glory of God come to pass in what you saw as a tsunami, but He saw as a new beginning!