Who hasn’t felt too small when big efforts are called for? Often I’ve second-guessed myself even after success shows up. All kinds of infernal, internal questioning, betraying subpar confidence. Then I read (misread?) in Christian books that we’re not to have self-assurance, so shouldn’t I rejoice? Finally made it to the top at the bottom of the heap! Whoopdedoo for me!
For a different twist, read 2 Kings 5– the story of a servant girl, who’s abducted from ancient Israel into Syrian enemy territory. Kidnapped into slavery to a heavyweight, major league military bigwig named Naaman. As it turns out, he’s a good guy. 2 Kings 5:1–‘Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor…He was a mighty man of valor…’ Nice accolades. Agreed?
But all’s not well. He contracts a skin disease, making him an outcast and pariah. He’s helpless until this gutsy gal opens her mouth, boldly offering her two cents–‘…Would that my lord were with the prophet (Jewish Elisha) who is in Samaria (northern Israel)! He would cure him of his leprosy’ (2 Kings 5:3).
As young and powerless as she seems, she speaks up for the Lord. Humbly suggests that Naaman can find help with God’s prophet in Israel, in the waters of its Jordan River. When Naaman humbly works through his arrogant objections, he heads south to the prophet Elisha, where he receives healing and conversion to the One true God.
I keep thinking about the heroism of this young gal. Her spunk and chutzpah. She could face the end of it all by opening her mouth. Servants weren’t tolerated when offering unsolicited, know-it-all ideas. Praising a foreign religious-type in enemy territory to the commander of the King’s army requires divine oomph. Maybe she’d best keep her mouth shut. Not be bold as brass with this Top Brass. Advice she tosses out the window.
How about me? And you? What holds you back from speaking up for Jesus? From sharing the Gospel with someone else? Intimidated? Have cold feet? Fears consume? Of what? Being criticized? Or worse, not being liked (now I’ve stepped on my own toes!)? Made fun of? Cut off from family and friends? She’s already been down that road. In spite of all that, still her compassion rules the day. Take it or leave it, she knows what to say. And does. Consequences be…well, you know.
Come on, Fischer. Show some guts. Stand up… for Jesus! With God’s help that’s exactly what I’d like to do. Loud and clear. No matter what. Really? And you?
Lord God, I need your courage to speak up for Jesus. Please help me. Amen.