The story for today is a moving one. A kind, but childless, woman
and her husband have used their wealth to serve Elisha, even before they
suspected he was a prophet. Then, when the son Elisha promised them
dies, he heals the child and restores him to his grateful parents. It’s a
miraculous, touching story. But it also carries the struggle that not all of our
prayers are answered so dramatically. Sometimes the only answer we
receive is the ability to find grace and joy even when our prayers aren’t
But there is another important message in this story. It’s hard to miss
the compassion that Elisha shows toward this couple, and the commitment
he has to bless them for their kindness. As a prophet, Elisha represents
God’s grace and compassion, and reveals to us how deeply concerned
God is with each of our lives. Even when we endure great hardship, we can
rest in the assurance that God’s grace and presence are with us, and that
God travels with us through our dark times. And, when others are
struggling, we have the opportunity to be the ‘prophets’ of God’s grace to
support and care for them.
One of the easiest and best ways to show your care for others, and to open
yourself to God’s care for you, is to use the twin practices of intercession
(praying for others) and petition (praying for yourself). As you pray, ask
God if there’s a way you can be the answer to your own prayers. Then, as
you find a way to be the channel of God’s grace and compassion, do what
your heart is moved to do.
Teach me to care for others, O God, as you always care for me.