Here it is. What I love about this talk is that he covers motherhood, adoption, abortion, infertility, and prodigals all in one talk.
Here is that talk, in His words.
2 Kings 4:8
One day Elisha went to the town, the town of Shunem. A wealthy woman lived there, and she invited him to eat some food. From then on, whenever he passed that way, he'd stop by.
She said to her husband, "I am sure this man who stops in from time to time is a holy man of God. Let's make a little room for him on the roof and furnish it with a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp. Then he will have a place to stay whenever he comes by."
Later Elisha asked Gehazi, "What do you think we can do for her?"
And he suggested, "She doesn't have a son, and her husband is an old man."
When the woman returned, Elisha said to her as she stood in the doorway, "Next year about this time you'll be holding a son in your arms!"
"No, my lord!" she protested. "Don't lie to me like that oh man of God."
Now pause right there before we go to verse 17. What is this? Don't lie to me oh man of God? Why does that seem like an apparent contradiction: Don't lie to me man of God.
Here's what she's saying: she's saying: "Don't mess with me! Bearing children is a very sensitive subject if you can't!"
I have to, because some of you know our story, pause long enough to say, it is a very sensitive subject.
Proverbs 30:15-16: "There are three things that are never satisfied. Four that say never enough."
Number 1: the grave. The Proverbs writer says the grave is never satisfied; the grave will always want and take another body.
The second thing on the list?
A barren womb.
This woman has had that hope in her heart for how many years? But the Bible says hope deferred makes the heart sick.
When Elisha the man of God says, "Next year you'll have a baby," she says, "Don't mess with me! That's a serious subject, don't play a game with me. If I'm gonna have a baby, I've got to be certain!"
Because if you've ever had to go on the rollercoaster ride of infertility, you know that the ups and down can be very, very traumatic.
And we did that roller coaster for 10 years.
And the last couple of years while we were still barren, Mother's Day was not a Sunday that Diane liked to come to church.
Just too heavy.
There are always some women who still want to be moms.
Let me also say that in a church like ours, the church today, there's another sensitive side to that same subject because the Supreme Court in 1973 said we could say goodbye to the life that our womb is created for. And in this room today there's a handful of women who don't want to hear about Mom. Why do they feel that way? Because now the longing desire they had hoped with their heart, has been dashed by a decision they live to regret.
Now, my responsibility, my position as pastor is one to say, if you did make that decision there is healing found in Jesus Christ.
But let me also say, that if you're a wanna-be mom, there's also healing in the lives of some of the girls who have determined that its best for them to gift their baby for an adoptive purpose.
Because of those girls, you might find there is still life in store for you, and I am the man of God that might be in Elisha's place today and say, "Next year at this time you'll have a baby in your arms."
Oh I know that hope well! Because I remember many years being ago on my living room floor crying out to God, saying, "God I just want to be a dad. Why is this so hard? You know my heart; I want to be a daddy!"
You see these girls who decide to gift their child, what is that? That's the ministry of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.
The ministry of Mary?
Mary knew that Jesus wasn't hers; Mary knew that Jesus belonged to someone else, and when a young girl finds herself with an unexpected pregnancy and determines that her child is for someone else, there is great healing in the house of God.
Because God navigates these paths in such a way. You could be someone here, from an adoptive family and your mother is every bit as a mother as anybody's mother who biologically brought them into the world.
My point it's a sensitive subject and if we are to be sensible, sensitive Christians, we will have the same sensitivity as we watch the reaction of the woman who says, "Hey man of God don't' mess with me!"
Well you know the story. Verse 17: "But sure enough, the woman soon became pregnant. And at that time the following year she had a son, just as Elisha had said. One day when her child was older, he went out to help his father, who was working with the harvesters."
And suddenly the son complained, "My head hurts! My head hurts!"
His father said to one of the servants what most fathers say, "Take him to mom."
So the servant took him home and mother held him on her lap. But around noontime he died. She carried him up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door, and left him there.
She sent a message to her husband: "Send one of the servants and a donkey so that I can hurry to the man of God and come back."
Now Dad is somewhat clueless, so he says, "Why are you going to the man of God today? Is it a new moon? Is it festival or church service?"
She said, "No, it's all right."
Now why does she say it's all right?
Scholars and commentators scatter on this point. Either:
- She's saying everything is okay because she realizes her husband really can't do what needs to be done.
- She's saying it's okay because she's trying to be a good wife and leave him alone because he's got a busy business day ahead.
She approached the man of God at Mount Carmel, and Elisha saw her in the distance. He said to Gehazi, "Look, the woman from Shunem is coming. Run out and meet her and ask her if everything's okay: how's your husband, how's your child?'"
"Yes," the woman told Gehazi, "Everything is fine."
When she came to the man of God at the mountain, she fell to the ground, and she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi began to push her away, but the man of God said, "Leave her alone. Something's troubling her deeply, and the Lord's not told me what it is."
And she said, "It was you," and I can hear the disdain and the disgust in her voice, "My lord who said I would have a son? And didn't I say not to raise my hopes?"
Elisha said to Gehazi, "Get ready, travel, take my staff and go! Don't talk to anyone along the way. Go quickly and lay the staff on the child's face."
But the boy's mother said, "As surely as the Lord lives and you live yourself, I won't go home unless you go with me."
In another words, "Don't send your staff! This is a job for you Elisha, not another pastor."
There are times I say my staff should go and times God says, "No, this is not a job for your staff; this is a job for you."
My point is there are times that God's gonna call you! You will be the one helps the hurting woman who finds that she's beside herself because her son is dead.
Her son is dead!
Spiritually speaking there are a lot of women in this church today who's sons are dead, dead spiritually! They're disconnected from God and some women believe that if they can make their way to Elisha then he will solve the problem ... it may be you that God is choosing to employ to make difference in the life of woman who's son is spiritually dead.
What happens next? Well again, so many of you know the story: "When Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there on the prophet's bed. He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the Lord. And then he lay down on the child's body, placing his mouth on the child's mouth, eyes on the child's eyes, hands on the child's hands. And the child's body began to grow warm again! Elisha got up, walked back and forth in the room a few times, and he stretched himself out again on the child. This time the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes! Then Elisha summoned Gehazi. 'Call the child's mother!' And when she came in, Elisha said, 'Take here your son!'"
Labor with unbelievable perseverance. Mom's are your boys dead? Are your daughters dead? Have you come here with a prayer: God please bring spiritual life to my son.
Well I'm glad you have. I don't' know anyone else on the planet that's gonna pray for your boys and girls like you will! I don't know anyone else on the planet that's gonna care for your kids like you will! You can't outsource mom's prayers. There's no prayers like moms prayers because mom is mom and nobody else will pray the way a mom will!
And that's why to this day I still hear my mom's voice. She's been gone for more than 10 years but I still hear my mom speaking,
Don't give up. Just because it appears that your kids are not listening -- they're listening. You're still putting it in, and because your still putting it in, there will be a day that it's gonna come back. And it may be after you're gone.
Again, how many years has my mom been gone with the Lord and I still hear her voice? Trust me, they will still hear your voice, but don't abandon the responsibility because they pay no attention. God will chose to employ your words with the spirit's strength and they will hear your voice mom and dad, just don't give up. Don't give up.
Lastly I want to encourage you surrender with forever faith.
Exodus 2:2. "So the woman conceived and bore a son and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months."
Most of you know the story. Moses' mom hid him for three months because, of course, there was a life-threatening leader. "When she could no longer hide him, she took a basket of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank."
What did she do?
She released her child with a trust in a greater good. And again I'll say, she released her child with a trust in a greater good.
Moms? It's a powerful position you're in. You can release with a greater good -- it's what Moses mom did, and again it's what Jesus mom did. She released her child for greater good.
Dad's have a way of easily cutting the cord, letting go.
Mom's tie a knot in it.
A lot of people can say they love me. A lot of people can say the say words, Bobby I love you but no one can say, Bobby I love you like my mommy.
Yes many times for the greater good, there's nobody like you mom; nobody like you.
Father God we come to you in Jesus' name. And we're so thankful for this woman that you have placed in our path that has meant so much to the next generation. Lord we pray that today you strengthen their resolve, Lord that they see just how important, how necessary, how imperative, their role and responsibility. Lord if too often we have given them the impression that this thing called mom is, is something that we can outsource, something we can negotiate, Father forgive us. Today we esteem, today we honor, and today we declare our thanks to mom. God bless them, in Jesus name we pray Amen.
You know Jesus said it this way in Mathew 23:11: "If you want to be the greatest you must be the servant of all."
And I think there's a lot of great moms because they chose to be the servants of all. So here's what I say, I've said this before; I declare it today, no dishes for mom today. Guys listen to me, no dishes for mom today! Everyone agree? All right!
Just put them in the sink. She'll do them on Monday.