Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lord Show Me the Leper

"Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy." (2 Kings 5.2,3)
How many times have we read this miracle in 2 Kings where Naaman gets cleansed of leprosy? We all know the story. But I've never ever focused on the little girl who told Naaman to go see Elisha in the first place.

The little girl had been growing up in Israel, going about her daily life, when all of a sudden, her world was turned upside down. And not the way any of our lives have been interrupted by hardships; completely destroyed beyond any resemblance of her former life. Chances are her parents were killed right before her eyes, possibly by Naaman himself, but definitely at his command (*1). What she had been through at this point makes my life look like Disneyland.

But, as an Israelite, she was aware of God's covenant to Abraham in Gen 12.3. She understood that God's kingdom wasn't only about her! In the midst all of the traumatic events in her life, she still noticed Namaan's leprosy, and she let God use her troubles to end his.

A lot of times I think we hold Romans 8.28 dear to our hearts and interpret "Those who love him and are called according to His purpose" as "me." No one else. Just me. But what if sometimes God is working all the things in our lives for the good of the leper? Perhaps even a leper who we don't see, because we're still thinking God's kingdom is about us! Have we ever lifted up our eyes for long enough to see if there's a leper nearby?

Lately my prayers have been psalms of lament (Ps. 3, 7, 13, 17, 25 etc...). But what if instead my prayer was a psalm of enthronement? (Ps. 9, 11, 19, 24, 34, 145...) The realization is crucial: He is on his throne, ruling the nations with justice, and my place is at His feet! I'm an extra in the movie staring Yaweh... I'm starting to believe that in all this, maybe, just maybe God wants to heal a leper, and when He does, my suffering will not only be worth it, but insignificant in retrospect.

I can either complain, or look for a leper.


Footnotes:
*1 - We know from 2 Kings 5.1 that Naaman was the commander of the Syrian army, so all the destruction that took place would have been at his command.

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