Thoughts for the Week

Posts tagged ‘Trust’

Naaman’s Dilemma

The hot Samarian sun beat down on Naamam’s itchy neck. Several flakes of dying skin slipped through his fingers as he absentmindedly brushed sweat away.

He had been on a wild goose chase trying to find someone to heal his  deadly and embarrassing skin condition, and now the Prophet Elisha was his last hope. He slowed his chariots down as Elisha’s small house came into view. Kicking up dust clouds, Naaman almost missed the messenger coming toward him. He stopped and the messenger spoke.

“Hello Naaman, commanders of the army of Aram, the Prophet Elisha knew you were coming and gives you instruction on how your skin might be cleansed.”

Naaman slid off his chariot and began to feel the first stirrings of relief since he started the long trip from his homeland. “Oh, wonderful news. Tell me, what does the Prophet say?”

“Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River, then your skin will be restored and will become healthy again.”

The small relief Naaman had felt was suddenly swept away by a burst of hot anger. “Wait…that’s it? Wash in that disgusting river? Never! Why can’he just wave his hand over me and cure me? Can’t at least tell me this himself?”

The afflicted man turned and stormed away, his servants jogging after him. “Sir, wait!” Naaman slowed, still angry, but he let his servants continue.

“If the Prophet had asked you to complete some great task whether by might or bravery, you would have done it. But bathing in the Jordan River is much easier than that. This may be a test of trust.”

Naaman made his way to the river’s edge and subconsciously fingered his neck’s rough, and damaged skin. “I fear this river could make my condition worse.” The muddy river’s stench was hard to bear. “But I will do as the Prophet says.”

After bathing seven times, Naaman broke from the surface and wiped the streaming water from his eyes. To his amazement, his skin was as soft and smooth as though it was brand new.

He made a vow on that day to only worship and make sacrifices to the one true God, the One who healed his skin because Naaman had trusted and believed.

2 Kings 5:1-18

Copyright 2016 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

Same God Now and Then

Times change; sometimes quickly and sometimes for the worse.

In this 21st century where all the world’s news is at our fingertips, one can become despondent and discouraged. It’s easy to get emotionally swept along in all the bad things that are happening and what could happen.

Whether one is worried about politics, terrorism, sickness, the economy, or the future in general, there’s always something else that can be added to the proverbial scales of fear.

But I read something this week that encouraged me: a shining reminder in a sea of uncertainty. I was reading in Ephesians chapter 1 which pointed out that “[God’s power is] far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (1:21 NIV).

Ultimately, God is in control and making the decisions. He was in control during Moses’ time, during the exile of Israel, during Jesus’ ministry, and even today as I type this. It is immensely comforting that the good God who always makes the best decisions is ultimately the one watching over everything.

The world that my children, and even my great-great-great grandchildren grow up in will have the same God in power and loving them. It’s the same God now and then.

Copyright 2016 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

How Long Would You Trust?

Do you hate deadlines as much as I do?

They just seem to creep up on you. If you have a debt, the payment dates probably cause stress. If you’re in school, paper deadlines are on the mind continually Or, perhaps you are biting nails over an upcoming surgery, a change in contract, or other harrowing deadlines.

In the Bible, in the book of Esther, God’s people were extremely worried about a particular deadline. The deadline was their execution.

In chapter three, the king of Persia, issued a disastrous law fueled by his right-hand man, Haman.

Haman hated that Mordecai, a Jew, wouldn’t bow to him. So he decided to eliminate all the Jews in the kingdom. And by judging the size of the kingdom, this would have been a mass genocide.

He cast lots to see which day the execution should take place, “and the lot fell on the twelfth month, the month of Adar” (3:7) NIV. So, Haman went to the king, and asked him to set the decree in motion.

Here’s the surprise. The decree was issued “on the thirteenth day of the first month” (3:12). So, it was almost an entire year that this death treat hung over the Jews.

Do you think you’d be able to handle that deadline? Knowing your life might end in less than a year?

What would you do?

Well, Mordecai was obviously distraught. But he didn’t despair. He trusted God. He encouraged his cousin, Queen Esther, to talk to the king. If she didn’t, “relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place” (4:14).

Mordecai knew the Jews were God’s chosen people, and wouldn’t allow all of them to be wiped out. When life seemed to be stolen from him, he clung to what was true.

When crisis comes your way, can you trust God and His truth like Mordecai did? Even your life is in danger? Or trust Him for a whole year?

Father, give us the courage to trust you.

Copyright by Molly Anderson 2012. Use by permission only.

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