A boy has died. Without telling anyone why, his mother sets off to visit Elisha, the man of God. As she does so she tells her puzzled husband, who hasn’t yet learned that his son’s headache has had fatal consequences, that ‘it’s all right’. [2 Kings 4: 23]. Later when she reaches the home of the man of God and is asked if everything is alright, asked specifically even if her son is alright, the woman insists that he is. ‘Everything is alright’, she says [2 Kings 4:26]
What is going on here? How can she say that ‘everything is alright’ when it so self evidently is not? In her distress has the dead child’s mother lost her mind?
Far from it. In her distress she has done the most rational thing possible. She has turned in faith to God and has continued to believe that the Judge of the whole earth will do what is just. [Genesis 18:25]
Where God is sovereign everything is alright because everything is alright where God is sovereign.
Or at least it will be. Weeping may tarry for the night time but joy comes with the morning. [Psalm 30:5] The current distress is real but the prospect of a bright tomorrow is so certain that, no matter how dark the night is, or how far off the day may still seem, we can still say that everything is alright because God is in control. The sun will rise.
Because God has promised a day when all our tears will be wiped away, a day when death will be no more [Revelation 21:4], there is a sense in which ‘everything is alright’ even as our tears continue to flow and daily we are surrounded by death and disease.
When the woman reached the man of God she took hold of his feet. The man of God’s servant tried to push her away but the man of God was content to let her come to him in her distress. [2 Kings 4:27]. This reminded me of that time when a woman caused something of a scene when Jesus went to dinner with a Pharisee. The woman, brought an alabaster jar of oil and anointed Jesus’s feet with it. As she did so she wept, wetting Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiping them with her hair. [Luke 7:38]
The woman, we are told was a sinner. [Luke 7:37]. As such everything was not alright. But in her distress she did the most rational thing possible. She turned to the true man of God, to Jesus, the one who, as God, always does what is just. She believed what is absolutely certain – that ‘if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ [1 John 1:9].
And so, as it was for the mother who clung to Elisha’s feet and had her son restored to life, so it was for the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’s feet with her tears. She was forgiven – her sins were washed away as surely as her tears turned to joy.
And so it will be for us. No matter the difficulties we currently face, no matter the sadness that daily fills our lives, we can be sure, that God is in control. As the psalmist remind us, God has promised that if we call upon him in the day of trouble, he will deliver us. [Psalm 50:15]. It’s as certain as that!
Because at the cross our sins were atoned for, because of the cross we are reconciled to God, because of the cross nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Not tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword. [Romans 8:35]. Furthermore we know that ‘for those who love God all things work together for good’ [Romans 8:28]
Because the Son has risen, we can be sure that God is for us. And if God is for us then ‘everything is alright’.
Even when it isn’t.
To read ‘Order out of chaos’, click here
To read “Hope comes from believing the promises of God”, click here
To read, ‘But this I know’, click here
To read “Suffering- A Personal View”, click here.
To read “Why do bad things happen to good people – a tentative suggestion”, click here
To read “Luther and the global pandemic – on becoming a theologian of the cross”, click here
To read ‘Covid -19. Does it suggest we really did have the experience but miss the meaning?’, click here. This is a slightly adapted version of “T.S. Eliot, Jesus and the Paradox of the Christian Life’.
To read ‘The “Already” and the “Not Yet”’, click here
To read ‘The Sacrifice of Isaac – Law or Gospel?’, click here
To read ‘on being confronted by the law’, click here
To read ‘Good Friday 2022’, click here
To read “Easter Sunday – 2021”, click here
To read, ‘The Resurrection – is it Rhubarb?’, click here
To read “Waiting patiently for the Lord”, click here
To read, ‘Real Love?’, click here
To read ‘Real Power’, click here