I’ve been kicking around the Old Testament lately, I’ll admit I’m more of a New Testament person, but of late I’ve been reading a bit more of the OT than usual. While I do make a point of dividing the OT and NT into the ages of “Law” and “Grace”, there is still much to be learned from and through the Old Testament. If you haven’t spent much time in it I encourage you to do so as there is much we can learn and apply to our own lives today.
2 Kings 5 gives is a perfect example with a great application to us today. Naaman’s little servant girl, a slave taken in battle, is such a story. In 2 Kings 5 we clearly she she is in circumstances not of her choosing or even desire. Taken from her homeland and forced to be the servant girl to strangers in a foreign land, still she stood firm for her convictions and had the courage to share those with others.
Naaman her master had leprosy, a diagnosis with great social stigma and given the medical climate (or lack there of) at the time it was a slow and painful death sentence. The servant girl could easily have remained silent and watched as Naaman grew worse and worse with the condition. One would hardly blame her for a little piece of revenge in doing so, however she did exactly the opposite. The servant girl used her position and access to Naaman’s wife to tell her about the healing that would be available if Naaman would visit the prophet Elisha. With this knowledge in hand, Naaman went to the king and received permission to make the journey to Elisha and after following the instructions given by Elisha he was healed and confessed his belief in God.
How often do we find ourselves in circumstances that are not of our choosing or even are not what we picture as ideal? It may be with a job situation with difficult co-workers, having to deal with those pesky in-laws or family members, it may even be a difficult neighbor or teacher at school. Know that like that little servant girl, we may not have designed our present circumstances but God did. We are exactly where he needs us to be at that given moment and he expects us to be sharing our faith with others and being a reflection of Him and His love.
10 “Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.11 Those who preach must preach God’s messages; those who serve must serve with the strength that God gives them, so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and power forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (Good News Translation)
As Peter says “so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ” it is not about us our like or dislike of our surroundings, it is about our ability to demonstrate the love of Christ to everyone, particularly the difficult.
Regardless of where we find ourselves today let’s make a point of looking up and looking out and making sure that the faces we see are looking at a reflection of Christ when they look back at us.