Being God’s Servant Can Mean Courageously Being Yourself

I deeply appreciate the fact that serving God often involves planning and strategizing. Also, it is sometimes overwhelming how gifted some people are who make their talents and abilities available for loving God and loving others.

Having said that, it is also amazing how often some unnamed person who no one would think could change the direction of history does so, just by being herself—courageously.

2 Kings 5 narrates the time when a young Jewish girl who was captured in war and sold as a slave changed the course of history. She is probably around 14-17 years old, the age range of my youngest grandson and granddaughter. She is a slave to the general in the oppressors’ army, General Naaman, who develops leprosy, which the girl is positive her God can heal.

As her story is told, I find myself wondering, how did this young girl develop the trust in God whom Israel knew as Yahweh—yes, the God whom she had heard healed people through his prophet, but also the God who had allowed a world in which she was abducted from home and sold into slavery? How did she trust in Yahweh, who had allowed “his nation” to be horribly defeated and decimated?

And, how far did she reach back to find the courage to approach her mistress (read “owner”) with a suggestion that her master (read “real owner”) should go to a defeated country to seek healing from a God whom he would consider a defeated god? And, maybe most impressive, where did she find the love in her heart for this couple who was keeping her away from her homeland—why did she even care what happened to them?

We never learn her name. We have no idea what happened to her later in life. We aren’t even told if the new health and faith and peace that Naaman found led him to make certain that she had a better future. As far as we know, God’s gruff old prophet Elisha never asked for her name either. I wish he had tried to something for her don’t you? As far as I can tell, he owes her for helping him bless others with his gifts and for making him even more famous, but maybe he figured that was God’s debt. I still think he owes her!

Surely, it has to be people like this young girl whose actions God puts in the deposit book of heavenly “treasury notes,” yet to be redeemed in the age to come (Matthew 6:19-21). She wasn’t a person with great plans for changing the world; she was just another “nameless” (to us, not to God) person who seems to have had a rather amazing amount of trust, hope, and love in her heart. And the world—the history we know—was a little bit different for many people because this young girl’s trust in Yahweh was expressed courageously.

I look forward to finding out her name when God’s great Book of Life is opened and the treasury notes God is holding are redeemed. In the meantime, let’s thank God that when some of the nameless people of history just have the courage to be themselves, they are the kind of people that allow God to make the world a little better for all of us.

In my next post I’ll share some thoughts about  a “nameless” young boy who blesses all of us by courageously being himself.

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