"A great woman"

The Bible gives the history of many nations and many individuals, but in all its pages only one person is referred to as "a great woman." Because of that fact, the Shunammite who is spoken of in the fourth chapter of II Kings becomes an object of peculiar interest to the student of the sacred writings. Why was she so called? The brief record therein given is all that we know of her and of her life. It is recorded that when death came upon her child, peculiarly beloved by reason of the circumstances of his birth, his mother took him to a room apart and shut the door upon him as she went to consult with Elisha, "the man of God." It is not stated that she volunteered information regarding him in any quarter, but it appears that as often as inquiry was made and response became necessary, she denied the reality of that appearance she had left behind her. "It is well," was her calm and confident declaration regarding the child. "A great woman," indeed, in the wisdom she displayed in meeting and dealing with this experience! Her first step was to shut the door upon the evidence of the physical senses. She definitely and wholly separated herself from that which testified of evil, and set her face toward good. Thus freed, she was able to make unimpeded progress toward her goal.

Mankind needs just such a lesson. The problems we do not treat in like manner become more real, more insistent, and more burdensome with every reminder of their presence. Some are unaware of the mental handicap this imposes, or are in ignorance as to how it can be escaped. Some even parade their discords and inharmonies in hope of receiving the sympathy their self-pity craves, only to learn that they are left with a heavier load and deeper scars. Others are beguiled by a mistaken sense of resignation, being unaware that submission to an afflictive condition is no part of the plan of the loving Father for His children. There must be resignation; yes, but only to that divine will which Paul discerned as "good, and acceptable, and perfect."

Rejoicing in Tribulation
January 31, 1931

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