Playing Bit Parts in God’s Great Story
In 2 Kings 5 there is a fairly well-known account that features two somewhat-known people to Bible readers (Naaman and Gehazi) and one person who is quite well known (Elisha). But do you ever think about how indispensable the “bit players” are in God’s great story? Or, in your life’s story for that matter?
In 2 Kings 5, God’s story (not to mention Naaman’s) would have been totally different if it were not for the young Jewish servant girl, whose expectant, non-judgmental, caring faith in God’s ability to act trumps all reasons of nationality, ethnicity, class status, and homesickness that could have led her to hate Naaman and to wish him dead. She speaks up, acts with hope and compasson…AND THE STORY GOES ON!
And, what if the Jewish girl’s mistress (Naaman’s wife) had written her off as a naive little girl with foreign religious beliefs that made no sense? Perhaps Mrs. Naaman was just desperate, or perhaps the young Jewish girl’s expectant faith gave her a glimmer of real hope. Whatever the case, she relates the Jewish girl’s amazing faith witness to her husband…AND THE STORY GOES ON!
The kings of Syria and Israel both think they are playing huge parts in the national and world history of their day. In reality, we now see them as bit part players in world history, who would be totally forgotten if it were not for the Biblical writings. But, like the “stars” of today—corporate CEO’s, political leaders, Wall Street tycoons, and military rulers—they believed they were the stars of the show. Nevertheless, even though they turn out to be bit players, they are indeed caught up in the drama of God’s Great Story as it moves forward…AND THE STORY GOES ON!
Eventually, the story nears a dead end as Naaman refuses to follow Elisha’s instructions, storming off in anger. But another nameless bit player speaks a life-changing and world-changing line. It took a lot of guts for an underling soldier to speak up to the great military hero Naaman and say, “Sir, if he had asked you to do some almost impossible task or some fancy religious ritual, you would have done it. Why not just give the prophet and his God a try?” Certainly this is someone that Naaman considered a bit player in his life story, and who only gets one or two lines in the narrative of the writer of 2 Kings, but it is also someone who changes history as he gets caught up in God’s Great Story…AND THE STORY GOES ON!
You may think of yourself as mostly nameless—a bit player in the history going on right around you, and certainly in world history. But, you are part of God’s Great Story. You never know what God will do with your next line…AND THE STORY GOES ON!