It was a normal Saturday afternoon. We were in the car going from place to place when our 3-year old son said, “I keep talking to God but I don’t hear Him saying anything back.” My husband and I looked at one another out of the corner of our eye wondering how to respond. Without hesitation, his 5-year old sister said, “Stop listening with your head and listen with your heart.” We smiled!
And I began to think…
How often do we make decisions based on head knowledge instead of heart knowledge? Do the trials of life cause us to dismiss the longings of our heart and replay man’s offenses in our head? Is contentment the standard when we are afraid to believe God for greater? As I read about the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings, I began to wonder about her story. You see, she was a woman of great wealth who gave selflessly. Not only did she provide housing for the man of God who traveled through her town, she made renovations to her home to better accommodate him during his travels. During one of his visits, he asked, “What can we do for you?” The contention between her head and heart began. A son. A son was her heart’s resounding cry and the man of God heard it. But when he spoke of the child she would soon hold in her arms, she replied, “Don’t deceive me and get my hopes up.” The text does not indicate the reason for her response. Maybe a past miscarriage. Possibly the loss of an infant. Perhaps a report which characterized her as infertile. Regardless of the reason for her hopelessness, it was evident that her head and heart were not in perfect harmony.
The past. Our past can make us believe we have reached a dead end. It can drain us of our hopes and rob us of our dreams. Dwelling on life’s disappointments, seemingly unanswered prayers, and regret can fill our heads with negative beliefs and deem those voices to be truth. When in actuality, the enemy’s plan to “steal, kill, and destroy” our destiny is materializing.
You may be wondering if the Shunammite woman ever had a son? Yes. She gave birth to a baby boy who later died. The remarkable thing about the story is when her son died, her heart knowledge immediately triumphed over head knowledge. Her heart reminded her of the man of God who did what she once thought was impossible. Her heart believed! The result…the man of God was able to bring him back to life. As I continued to read 2 Kings, I saw the Shunammite woman’s faith increase. That’s what listening with your heart will produce…greater faith! In chapter 8 after a famine, the Shunammite woman went to see the king (which is unheard of). She wanted him to restore all she had lost during those seven years. What happened to the hope-less woman in chapter 4? This “new creature” was bold and resilient. In spite of her past, she now knew her God to be faithful! Was restoration granted by the king? YES! Not only did she get her home and land back, she was given the value of all crops harvested during her absence.
Remember this in the days to come…Put your mind on mute, Listen with your heart, and Trust God.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6