February 18, 2014
READ: 2 Kings 4:8-37
Then she said, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord? And didn’t I say, ‘Don’t deceive me and get my hopes up’?” (v.28).
In his book, Me, Myself, & Bob, Phil Vischer shares how he invented the popular VeggieTales characters of Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber. Phil’s Christian videos sold millions of copies and he became an overnight sensation. But the creative genius was not a gifted businessman, and his exploding company took on too much debt until it went bankrupt. The rights to Bob, Larry and the other Veggies were then sold to someone else.
Phil was devastated. But then he came across the story of the woman from Shunem (2 Kings 4:8). This wealthy lady refreshed Elisha with a meal and a room whenever he came to town, and Elisha returned the favour by promising that she would bear a son. The barren woman and her husband had long ago given up on this dream, and the woman begged Elisha, “O man of God, don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that” (v.16).
Elisha kept his word, and a year later the woman was nursing her newborn infant (v.17). “One day when her child was older” he unexpectedly grabbed his head and died in his mother’s arms (vv.18-20). She laid him on Elisha’s bed and raced to find the prophet, demanding to know why he had delivered her dream only to let it die (v.28).
The answer, Phil discovered, is that God wants us to know whether He is more important than our dream. Is God enough, or will we only be satisfied with God plus something else? If God is all we need, then we can be content whether or not our dream stays alive. And because we’re dealing with God, our dreams are never permanently dead. The God who raised the woman’s son may give us back our dream—refined and reimagined—once we have given it entirely to Him. —Mike Wittmer
Read John 11:17-44 to learn how we should respond when a loved friend or family member dies.
What dream of yours has died? What should you do as you wait to see whether God will give it back to you?