Resignation is defined as the act of abdicating before fate, submitting without protest. One category of people I have observed is that of resigned individuals. These people have given up on getting their way; they have completely thrown in the towel. Faced with prolonged unemployment, illness, or hardship, they throw up their hands and lose hope.

The vocabulary of a resigned person often falls along these lines: “What matters is that we are saved”, “Only our Salvation matters”, “Life on this earth is difficult but we must hold on because Christ will soon come to fetch His Church. When He comes to take us, we will finally know the end of all our sufferings in this world.”

These individuals have lost all fighting spirit. They have no more hope for tomorrow. Suffering has so weakened them that they simply no longer believe in God’s promises in their lives. Of course, they still believe in the God of miracles. They have indeed witnessed the wonders that God has performed in the lives of their loved ones.

However, when it comes to their own lives, they are convinced that their case is too desperate. This critical situation has lasted for so long. “How could it be otherwise?” they say to themselves. They carry this pain as a burden and refuse to lay it at the feet of God as it is written:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

For some people, this burden has become normal. To illustrate this point, let’s read the following text which tells us about a Shunammite woman:

One day Elisha came back to the region. He stayed in the upstairs room and lay down there. He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” Gehazi called her, and she stood before him. Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us! What can we do for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?'” She replied, “I have a home among my own people.” Elisha asked, “What can be done for her?” Gehazi answered, “Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.”

Elisha said, “Call her.” So Gehazi called her, and she stood in the doorway. Elisha said, “About this time next year, you will embrace a son.” She replied, “No, my lord, man of God, do not deceive your servant!” 2 Kings 4:8-16 (NIV)

The Scriptures do not specify the name of this woman. Yet, it is stated that whenever the prophet Elisha passed through the town of Shunem in Israel, this distinguished woman would invite him to eat at her house. So, it had become a custom.

The prophet Elisha was a servant of God known and respected by all. And the Bible says that not only did this woman insist that the prophet Elisha and her husband visit, but she went even further in hospitality.

We see this from verse 10: “Let’s make a small room upstairs and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

She recognized that Elisha was a true servant of God and anticipated his needs. This great hospitality she showed him touched him, and he wanted to bless her in return. To the question, “What can we do for you?” this woman gave an answer that surprised me somewhat. She said, “I have a home among my own people,” thus ending the conversation.

Indeed, according to the Scriptures, we learn that this woman was quite wealthy and probably had access to the authorities mentioned by the prophet. Why then did the Shunammite not express her need for a child?

This good woman, who seemed to lack nothing, actually had an unexpressed desire in her heart. She had no child, and her husband was old. We do not know how long she had been married to this man, but at this point, she was certainly saying to herself, “After all, I have a loving husband, and God has blessed me with excellent financial status. It is true that I have no child, but I will be content with what God has already given me.”

She had suppressed her desire for childbirth after many years of waiting. We perceive this through her reaction to the prophecy of the man of God concerning her future pregnancy. She replied to him, “No, my lord, man of God, do not deceive your servant!” In other words, do not make me dream with false promises. Obviously, she had completely given up on any dream of childbirth.

At that time, the prophets were the only people through whom God spoke. So, when the prophet Elisha prophesied in the life of the Shunammite woman, his word had authority, and the fulfillment was certain. Nevertheless, this woman was so resigned that she could not express her true need. And when God, in His compassion, inspired His servant Elisha to prophesy in her life, she still did not believe it. She had surely accumulated many disappointments and false hopes in the past to the point where her heart had closed. She preferred not to take the risk…

This text is an excerpt from the book “Ruth – The one we didn’t expect” written by Pastor Modestine CASTANOU.

We invite you to read the following article “RUTH, A MODEL OF SUBMISSION“.

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