Get the children to share their dreams. Share how one of your wishes/dreams came true.
What is your dream? What is something you want very much to happen?
Become a famous football player/ singer /artist /musician etc
Go to Disneyland/Universal Studios or some country you always wanted to visit
Become a doctor/fireman/etc when you grow up
Today we hear a story about a woman who waited so long for her dream to come true. Although she gave up, her dream came true.
2. STORY: Elisha & the Shunammite Woman’s Son (2 Kings 4:8-36)
Remember how we heard Elisha helped a widow and her two sons as they had a debt they couldn’t pay? Today we hear how Elisha helped a rich woman.
One day Elisha went to the town of Shunem. A rich woman invited him to come to her home for a meal. After that, whenever Elisha passed that way, he would stop by her house. The woman knew that Elisha was God’ prophet and persuaded her husband to build a small room for Elisha so that he could stay there whenever he came to that town. When Elisha came to Shunem, he went up to this upper room to rest. He thought about the woman and asked his servant, Gehazi, “What can we do for her?”
Gehazi replied, “She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is an old man.”
God told Elisha that he would give the woman a son. Later Elisha told the woman, “Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!” “No, my lord!” she cried. “Don’t lie to me.” She wanted a son so long and had already given up hope and she didn’t want to be disappointed again.
Have you felt like the woman- that you waited so long for your dream to come true, got so disappointed that it didn’t happen. You even told other people not to mention about it so you won’t feel so disappointed?
But the woman soon became pregnant and she had a son the following year, just as Elisha had said.
One day when her child was older, he went out to help his father in the field. Suddenly he cried out, “My head! My head hurts!” (We are not told what happened to him). Maybe he was bitten by a snake. So, one of the servants took him home and his mother held him on her lap. But around noontime he died. She laid him on Elisha’s bed and went to find Elisha.
When she came to Elisha, she fell to the ground before him and caught hold of his feet. Gehazi began to push her away, but Elisha said, “Leave her alone. She is deeply troubled, but the Lord has not told me what it is.” Then she said, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord? And didn’t I say, ‘Don’t lie to me’?” Then Elisha found out that her son died.
She asked Elisha to return to her home with her. When Elisha arrived at her house, he went in to his room alone, shut the door behind him and prayed to the Lord. Then Elisha laid down on the child’s body, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands. As he stretched out on him, the child’s body began to grow warm again! (When a person is dead, his body will turn cold. When the boy became warm, it showed that life was returning to his body) The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes!
When the woman came in and saw her son alive, she fell at Elisha’s feet, overwhelmed with gratitude. Then she took her son in her arms and carried him downstairs.
A. God gives us our dreams
God gave the woman a son although she had already gave up on hoping for one. For many years, she couldn’t have any children so the woman didn’t want to hope anymore. She was afraid she would be disappointed for another time. However, God knew that she wanted a son and he gave her a son.
Although her son died and even when things looked so bad, God kept his promise that she will have a son. He raised her son from the dead.
If we have been waiting for a long time for our dreams/hopes to come true, remember that God knows the plans he has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11). Nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:38) and He is a father who gives good gifts to his children.
There may be times God does not give us what we want — He gives us something even better!!
B. We have God’s great power
The raising of the woman’s son is one of the most amazing miracles which happened during Elisha’s ministry. It reminds us of the greatest miracle that happened when God raised Jesus from the dead.
It is so amazing that we (those of us who have received Jesus as our Saviour) have Jesus’ life and power. In Ephesians 1:19 we are reminded of God’s incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength God exerted when he raised Christ from the dead.
When we look at ourselves today, remember that we are no ordinary people. We have Jesus’ life, we have his power, the power that raised Jesus from the dead.
4. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS
Ask if any of the children want to accept Jesus as their personal saviour and if any, pray together with them.
Get your children to act out the story of Elisha and the Shunammite woman.