32115909700_499ca69630_bIn 2 Kings 5, a very familiar story of the Old Testament is recorded. Naaman was the commander of the army of Syria – an enemy nation of Israel. He was a mighty man of valor, but he also suffered from leprosy. After one of his raids, he brought back a young Israelite girl to be a slave for his wife. She must have felt very alone being forced into servitude in a foreign land.

We know “the rest of the story” very well – of how she informed them of a prophet in Israel who could heal Naaman of his leprosy. Curiously, he got permission from the king of Syria to go and see if this was true.

When he found the great prophet Elisha’s house and inquired, Elisha sent a messenger to him and informed him that if he would dip in the Jordan River seven times, he would be cured. Naaman was indignant that Elisha didn’t come into his presence and heal him then and there, so he decided to leave. His servants were then able to talk him into giving the dipping into the Jordan thing a try, which he did and, as they say, the rest is history. He was cleansed of his leprosy!

Now, I would like to speculate on something concerning this wonderful account. Here we have this unnamed young girl brought back as a slave doing something incredible. Instead of being bitter about the hand life had dealt her, she reached out to help another. She could have taken all her hurt, pain, and resentment and let it fester inside her and made the determination not to say anything to her master and let him suffer through his disease. Apparently, she had no desire for revenge against her master. Instead, she loved her enemies, forgave the wrong done to her, and set about pointing out to her master that God was his only hope.

Another thing I often contemplate as I read this account is that this young girl must have conducted herself in such a way that when she had something to say, they listened to her. What a great example to us. We should live such a kind, forgiving life among people that when we have something to say, they will listen. You never know where the sharing your faith combined with a great attitude will lead! – Edd Sterchi, Campbellsville, KY

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