October 28, 2013
master said, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been
faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more
responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!'" Matthew 25:23
Why do the little things prove so hard to accomplish? It seems the more I have on my "to-do" list the better I manage my day. The bigger and better the task the more anxious I feel to complete it. But give me a day with only a few mundane tasks to finish and I spend most of my time grumbling and complaining. So many days I've even felt this way toward my children. "Is this all God? Stay home and raise children? Don't you want me to do something more?"
A guy in the Bible by the name of Naaman shared a similar struggle--not over raising kids but over faithfully completing the small, mundane, simplistic task God set before him. 2 Kings 5 tells us that though Naaman served as a mighty warrior he also suffered from leprosy. Following the advice of a young servant girl Naaman decides to visit the prophet Elisha. Elisha sends a messenger to tell Naaman that if he will wash in the Jordan River seven times his skin will be healed.
Naaman feels outraged at Elisha's advice. 2 Kings 5:11 reads, "But Naaman became angry and stalked away. 'I thought he would
certainly come out to meet me!' he said. 'I expected him to wave his
hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! Aren’t
the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of
the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?'"
Naaman felt owed a better, more majestic course of treatment. Washing in the Jordan River seemed too small of an assignment, too mundane a task for such a mighty warrior to complete.
Then in stepped the voice of reason. In 2 Kings 5:12 Naaman's officers ever so gently suggest, "Sir,
if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t
you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, 'Go and wash and be cured!'" Naaman follows the advice of his men and receives both the physical and spiritual healing Elisha promised.
The story of Naaman reveals to me my tendency to desire only "big" assignments from God. In some ways I found it easier to minister to women in Africa than I find it to stay at home and teach my own children. I must remember it is simply a matter of perspective. As followers of Christ we do not get to chose how we bring God glory. In Hosea 6:6 God says, "I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings." What better way to show love than to faithfully raise my children--His children--for Him? What better way to know God than to receive the unconditional love of a child . . . or of four children?
With God's help I proved faithful in a big thing in traveling to Africa last year. With God's help I will prove faithful with my Little Things too.