Ever considered the source or origin of nursing? Ever consider the influencers that got people engaged in caring for the sick? Ever considered the impact of Jesus on the idea that we need to go out and look for the sick and the hurting? Ever considered the impact of Jesus’ teaching such as the Good Samaritan? Ever considered what you have available to you? Do you realize even the little you have can be used and multiplied by God? Will you have the faith to take what you have and allow God to work in and through it.
Today’s reading brings us to 2 Kings 4 with a power and caring story…
Elisha and the Widow’s Oil
1Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” 2And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” 3Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. 4Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” 5So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. 6When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”
Elisha and the Shunammite Woman
8One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. 9And she said to her husband, “Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. 10Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.”
11One day he came there, and he turned into the chamber and rested there. 12And he said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13And he said to him, “Say now to her, ‘See, you have taken all this trouble for us; what is to be done for you? Would you have a word spoken on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?'” She answered, “I dwell among my own people.” 14And he said, “What then is to be done for her?” Gehazi answered, “Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.” 15He said, “Call her.” And when he had called her, she stood in the doorway. 16And he said, “At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord, O man of God; do not lie to your servant.” 17But the woman conceived, and she bore a son about that time the following spring, as Elisha had said to her.
Elisha Raises the Shunammite’s Son
18When the child had grown, he went out one day to his father among the reapers. 19And he said to his father, “Oh, my head, my head!” The father said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20And when he had lifted him and brought him to his mother, the child sat on her lap till noon, and then he died. 21And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God and shut the door behind him and went out. 22Then she called to her husband and said, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, that I may quickly go to the man of God and come back again.” 23And he said, “Why will you go to him today? It is neither new moon nor Sabbath.” She said, “All is well.” 24Then she saddled the donkey, and she said to her servant, “Urge the animal on; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
When the man of God saw her coming, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, there is the Shunammite. 26Run at once to meet her and say to her, ‘Is all well with you? Is all well with your husband? Is all well with the child?'” And she answered, “All is well.” 27And when she came to the mountain to the man of God, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came to push her away. But the man of God said, “Leave her alone, for she is in bitter distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me.” 28Then she said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me?'” 29He said to Gehazi, “Tie up your garment and take my staff in your hand and go. If you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not reply. And lay my staff on the face of the child.” 30Then the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her. 31Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the face of the child, but there was no sound or sign of life. Therefore he returned to meet him and told him, “The child has not awakened.”
32When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. 33So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. 35Then he got up again and walked once back and forth in the house, and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36Then he summoned Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite.” So he called her. And when she came to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” 37She came and fell at his feet, bowing to the ground. Then she picked up her son and went out.
Elisha Purifies the Deadly Stew
38And Elisha came again to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land. And as the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Set on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” 39One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were. 40And they poured out some for the men to eat. But while they were eating of the stew, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it. 41He said, “Then bring flour.” And he threw it into the pot and said, “Pour some out for the men, that they may eat.” And there was no harm in the pot.
42A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” 43But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.'” 44So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.
–from 2 Kings 4
Ever noticed how God is able to take the little we have and multiply it to the point of not only meeting the needs but providing leftovers? Consider the pouring of the oil from today’s reading. Consider the story of the man who brought his first fruits of the harvest and how it fed all the men and had leftovers. Consider when Jesus fed the 5000 and there were 12 baskets of leftovers. How would God use what you have in order to bless you and others? How would God use what you already have in order to meet your needs today and provide for your tomorrow.
Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on scientific discovery brings us the topic of Early Nursing. We learn about how in AD353 the early church leaders directed its bishops to establish places of hospitality and healing based on the biblical teachings about caring for the sick and the stories of Jesus as a healer and His parables. We learn about some of these early institutions that were created and led by nuns like Saint Basil’s hospital in Cappadocia and a hospice created by Saint Fabiola in Rome. We also learn about how “by the early middle ages, nuns were the most active caregivers of the sick and the infirm” across Europe and Byzantine Empire, dedicating their time to nursing.
So how will these truths and points of wisdom transform the way you live out your today?
For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I lift up this day and ask Lord for Your help in managing my time and the asks upon me. Help me Lord to live out today in a way that will bring You praise, honor, and glory. Help me Lord to use what I have and allow You to take it and use it for the glory of Your Kingdom so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.