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The Darling Blog

Welcome to The Darling Blog, a life and style blog by the owner of Darling Boutique, Linnea White. Darling is passionate about empowering women and inspiring strength through fashion to restore dignity and true beauty. Enjoy outfit inspiration and style tips, featured #darlingfinds, local collaborations, and so much more. Live the Darling lifestyle - an altogether beautiful life.

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Trusting God, Week 2: Unswerving Faith

Linnea White

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When your pastor preaches on the same verses you've been reading and journaling the last week, reverberating each perfectly placed point in your spirit, you know God is speaking. And that's what happened this week for this devotional about the Shunammite Woman - a story of unswerving faith in God. As we look at the Shunammite woman's story in 2 Kings, the fundamental truth is this: there is hope even in the most devastating of circumstances, for our God's word is faithful - always.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

Unswerving Faith: The Shunammite Woman

In 2 Kings 4:8-37, we meet the Shunammite Woman, a wealthy and capable woman who shows great kindness, generosity, and hospitality to the prophet Elisha. This woman literally prepared a room in her home for Elisha where he could stay on his frequent visits.

We live in a culture of "guest bedrooms," these neatly decorated (or sometimes filled with all of our extra crap until company comes) spare rooms used for hospitality. This woman so beautifully demonstrates literally hospitality and metaphorically the posture of her heart to this prophet of God. What if we cleared out our spare rooms (our hearts) of all of our crap, and made space for God, space for Him to dwell and for us to realign the posture of our hearts? How beautiful and effortless would our faith become?

God is always faithful. And Elisha, moved by her kindness, asked what he could do for her. "I'm alright," was her reply (basically). The Shunammite woman was unable to ask for the deep desires of her heart, to pray the big, scary, beyond comprehension prayers - to ask God for a child. But Elisha, finding out she was childless, spoke a word over her - a promise: "About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms" (vs. 16). This promise of God was received with doubt - she answered, "Don't mislead your servant, O man of God!" Despite the posture of her heart being hospitable to God's presence in her home, she was afraid, for she had known a broken heart.

Unswerving Faith | Photo by Linnea WhiteWe've all experienced pain and loss that makes as ask the question, "Can I trust God?" The answer is always, resoundingly, unswervingly YES.

A year later, as Elisha had promised, the Shunammite woman had a son, fulfilling God's word and the deepest, unspoken desire of her heart. Talk about renewed trust in God! But God's work was not yet finished. And the Shunammite woman would face further devastation and temptation to doubt God's promise.

In verse 20, her promise literally dies in her lap. Her son, this prophesied gift from God, dies. And what is her response when he dies? Complete and utter faith in God. Without a word, she carried her son to the room she had prepared for Elisha and laid the boy on his bed, an act demonstrating her trust in God. And that trust in God fueled her hope in a miracle, in not collapsing under the weight of grief.

She made the twenty-five mile journey north to find Elisha at Mount Carmel, and asked him, "Didn't I tell you, 'Don't raise my hopes'?" Elisha at first instructed his Gehazi, basically his sidekick, to return to her home and lay his staff on the boy's face. But the woman wasn't going to settle for a stand-in to this mouth-piece, this prophet of God. Miraculously, the boy is revived, after Elisha warmed the boy's body with his own, praying all the while. The boy sneezed 7 times upon awaking --- the sacred number representing the completion of God's word.

Once again, in verse 37, the woman shows a beautiful posture of her heart --- worship and thanksgiving. For God had been true to His word, fulfilling His promise to her and then preserving it in the face of impossible circumstances.

May this beautiful woman of the Bible speak to your own faith and trust in God. May her example of kindness teach us to seek opportunities to care for others in basic and practical ways. May her attitude to "seek first his [the Father's] kingdom and his righteousness" empower us to trust that "all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33). When we aren't fretting over God's provision, we experience it abundantly. So this week, realign the posture of your heart by practicing practical hospitality and kindness for someone, and, in turn, trust in a God that is always faithful to his unswerving servants.

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Read last week's introduction to the Trusting God devotional series.

Trusting God | Women of the Bible Series, Week 1

Linnea White

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Let's face it - God and I have long had trust issues. Because if I'm being honest, trusting God is a isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s more than words on a cute mug or a favorite verse above your desk, it’s more than a song of praise or momentary thanksgiving. Trust is a verb. What does the Lord say about trusting Him? What does it mean to trust the Lord, to trust in His promises and His unwavering goodness? What about when life gets tough, when the enemy throws tragedy and pain, suffering and hardship our way?

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just hours after writing those questions in my journal a few weeks ago, I received devastating news from a friend - the kind of news that could cripple your faith, that could crack your bedrock of trust in the Lord. And I knew there was no better time than this to lean into the Bible, to seek His wisdom on this topic that defines our faith - trusting God.

The Bible is filled with women who trusted in God, and the cast of characters includes women young and old, married and single, mothers, sisters, and daughters. In this series, we'll dive into a few of their stories, exploring their faith to increase our own.

Trusting God, Week 1 | An Introduction

In Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts, she chronicles the lifelong battle against our flesh as we trust in God. "Anxiety has been my natural posture, my default stiffness[...] I don't fold my hands in prayer... weld them into tight fists of control[...] Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is." Voskamp calls stress not only a "joy stealer," but also warns that our response to stress can be sin.

Instead, give thanks daily. “Thanks is what builds trust,” adds Voskamp. “Gratitude is what births trust… the true belief."

Belief is a verb, it is the action of our faith - to place our trust in God. If we believe, then we must let go and trust. And it is a daily choice, a daily action and step of our faith.

"Jesus replied, 'This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]'." John 6:29 AMP

Trusting God series | Photo by Megan TiernanThis is our daily aim, our striving steps of faith as we make our way about our day. May the work of this world, may the trials and tragedies of this world, not deter us from our ultimate work: living a life fully trusting in God.

Meditate on these verses throughout the week, turning to prayer instead of stress and worry, and giving thanks instead of giving in to fear.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." John 14:1 NIV

"Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord." Psalm 40:4

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow." Romans 15:13

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock." Isaiah 26:3-4

Next week, we'll start diving into scripture by exploring the story of the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17:8-24.