A common phrase we often greet one another with – but do we mean it?
If you are like my husband, you ask yourself – does this stranger really want to know how I am?
What would this person in the waiting room do if I told them that “my car is making a strange noise and I am planning a trip to see my mother and father – my father is 90 and they live in Wheaton, Illinois and it looks like they might have snow up there so I a bit concerned about driving all that way and especially if the car is making a strange noise…”
Get the picture?
It would be “random”, as my students say, if I told each person my life story. We have a phrase for that in our family – “like Aunt Cil”.
Phil’s Aunt Priscilla lived to be 90 and lived alone many of those years either in High Point, North Carolina or Moravian Falls, North Carolina. If people talked to her – she had a LOT to say in return. In any store, restaurant, or ANYPLACE we went where there were people – if anyone asked Aunt Cil “How are you?” she would tell them. Not only would she tell them how she was, she would also tell them about her family members that were with her. “This is my nephew, Phillip and his wife Gayle. They live in Cullowhee and have four children, two are in college, …”
Get the picture?
We certainly do NOT need to tell total strangers our life story. When most people say “How’s it going?” they are being congenial, they are not expecting more than “fine, or doing well.”
But what if things are not well? Should I lie?
In II Kings 4:25-26 a woman deals with just this issue. She has a LOT going on. Her precious son – her only child – has just died.
She had been promised this son, without asking – by the prophet Elisha. (see II Kings 4: 8-17)-NKJV
Now that son had died after a severe headache – possibly an aneurism – we don’t know – but we are told that the pain came on suddenly and the child died in her arms.
18 And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, “My head, my head!”
So he said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. 22 Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.”
23 So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.”
And she said, “It is well.” 24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25 And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! 26 Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’”
And she answered, “It is well.” 27 Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.”
IT IS WELL? What?
Her son has just DIED!!!
“Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with your child?” Gehazi, Elisha’s servant asks in verse 26.
And she answered, “It is well.”
How could she say this? This woman of faith only wanted to talk to Elisha, the man of God who by his request to God had enabled her to have a son in the first place.
This Shunammite woman (we don’t know her name) could say “It is well” because her faith was in the God of Elisha.
II Kings 4:32-37 relates the healing of her son. She answered “It is well” BEFORE her son was healed. That is the attitude I should have – God is in control – it is well. No matter what happens – it is well.
She could TRUTHFULLY say “It is well” because she trusted God. If our faith and trust are in the God of the universe, no matter what we are facing OR the outcome, we say – because God is God –
“It is well”