Little is Much

Little ones are the ones who know best the ways of the Lord. Jesus said so when He caught the disciples as they argued about who was the greatest among them. The Savior set a child there before them and proclaimed the truth that to such belongs the Kingdom of God.

What was He saying? He was saying that people who place simple trust in Him are the fearless ones, the unselfish ones, the ones full of love and hope. They are the meek and they will inherit the earth. Their expressions of faith are real and honest and very often triumphant.

Such expressions of faith challenge those who operate in their complex human intellects. These learned ones label miracles as unreasonable and illogical. Their searches for explanation take them on wild chases and fuel theories that are spun out as a brand of so-called science. Like the residents of Athens in Paul’s day, they spend all of their time in discussions about “something new” (see Acts 17:21). But mention something like resurrection and there is scorn. This kind of newness is too incomprehensible to be real for them.

Not many wise hear the call of God. And so He works His works through the foolish and the weak. It is all the better for by these ones the Lord is magnified.

The Lord has His little ones positioned precisely and in place of greatness. Their gift of simplicity makes room for them. They are where they are in order to glorify Him.

A Maid’s Sentence

Consider the maid in 2 Kings 5.

She was likely a prisoner of war, a youngster who had been carried from Israel by the victorious Syrians. She came to be the handmaiden of the wife of Naaman, a general in Syria’s army and a most trusted adviser and protector of his nation’s king.

Naaman was also a sick man. His affliction was leprosy, the grievous plague of the day, a malady that worked from the inside out and manifested itself with painful sores and rotting joints. Considered dangerously contagious, lepers were forced to distance themselves from everyone.

The maid harbored no bitterness toward her captor and master. It seems to me that she wasn’t smart enough to cultivate hatred and boast over her soldier/master’s misfortune. Rather, her heart was full of mercy. She wanted Naaman to be well. Such mercy was from the Lord, and He would use this mercy to bring a testimony to the Syrians.

This maid waited on her mistress and spoke of what she knew about her God, the Lord of Israel and His ways. She knew of the prophet Elisha who lived among her people. He was a man of miracles. “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy,” (2 Kings 5:3).

News of this reached the king of Syria. He crafted a memo to the king of Israel and sent it along with Naaman. “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

A Gentile nation had a miracle of God walking in its midst. Israel’s ways and heart were far from the Lord, but this did not stop Him from doing great things, even to those who opposed His people. Click To Tweet

Consider this, Syria had defeated Israel in battle and was exacting tribute – a form of protection payments — from the defeated nation. This political status did not hinder Israel’s ability to bless, even when the blessing was being sought by an enemy that had in some way brought a curse.

The Lord did make this very promise to Abraham:  “I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 26:4).

Naaman was about to experience a blessing that he could only receive through the Chosen People of the Lord. This general showed up at Elisha’s abode and was ready to witness something spell-binding, a spectacular spiritual display. What he got was an errand boy with this message:  “Dip in the Jordan River seven times and you will be clean.”

At first, Naaman took great offense. The remedy seemed too plain to him; it was so simple, so childlike. Well, after all, it was a little Israelite girl in his home who set this whole process in motion. From the mouth of that “babe” came the answer for Naaman. The good news is that this man took the words to heart and washed in the Jordan and was healed.

A Gentile nation had a miracle of God walking in its midst. Israel’s ways and heart were far from the Lord, but this did not stop Him from doing great things, even to those who opposed His people.

A Lad’s Lunch

Jesus wanted to feed a crowd of thousands. His guys, the Apostles, were dumbfounded. Their analysis of the situation was natural and, thereby, faithless. Where and how could such a need be provided for? They thought out loud.

The answer was in the lunch box of a lad. His five loaves and two fish were all that Jesus needed to fill all the bellies there that day.

When it comes to real faith, we get it all wrong. Size does matter, but not in the way we usually make it matter. We seek big things, strong things, powerful things.

The Lord says our faith must be like a tiny seed. That is, our faith has to have life in it. It must possess the quality of virtue and trust.

Little ones are full of life. They run and jump, laugh and shout. They hurl themselves into the laps of fathers and mothers, granddads and grandmoms. They delight in surprises. It doesn’t take much to make them content.

A seed of faith in a heart after God represents great gain. It is the source of joy and contentment. It also bears the fruit of testimony; it speaks for the glory of God in the most interesting circumstances.

The little maid in Naaman’s home had a heart of love, for God is love. The leprosy of her master was terrifying; it brought pain and separation, decay and death. This girl, however, knew something wonderful. She knew what the Lord could do through His man. And she didn’t hesitate to share that truth.

What a day that must have been when Naaman arrived at home to show off his new skin. I imagine him running to the maid and sweeping her off her feet in gratefulness and celebration. Her simple, childlike faith made all the difference.

Imagine now what a little word of faith can do.

 

Steve Andrulonis
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