The Son became a servant, so that the servants may become sons.
How would your life look, if you had the pen that writes the lines of your life, in your hand..? If you had the chance to change the things that came within the sphere of your existence, would you have diligently chosen all that you’re living, or have lived out..?
Lines though keep getting written without us wielding the pen. Would we ever write lines of darkness..? Would we ever write lines of fear..? Would we ever write lines of pain..? But there are times, when all these are just the passage to something far more desirable. If I had it in my power, I would never have written those lines in the pages of my life. But I thank God, the pen isn’t in my hand….
There are times when the road to Paradise, takes you through the valley of Hell.
And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Last week, I happened to listen to a sermon, and in the course of the message the preacher mentioned an account from the Bible: the healing of Naaman the Syrian. Naaman commanded the army of Syria and was held in high favour by his king. But he also happened to be a leper.
In a journey of faith, Naaman headed from Syria in search of Elisha, a prophet of God in the land of Israel, who he believed could lead him to healing. And Elisha did lead him, but Naaman couldn’t readily accept the path. Naaman’s rejection of the way prescribed by Elisha, I feel, gives us a glimpse of our own nature as people….
So he turned and went away in a rage.
2 Kings 5:12
Have you ever been in a position when someone offered you something that just seemed, ‘too good to be true’..? More often than not, our decision would be to pass on the proposition simply because we could never believe that someone would offer something so precious, for something far too little. And you see, Naaman wasn’t unlike us….
When he received word from Elisha that all he had to do to be healed, was to dip in the Jordan seven times, Naaman felt mocked. Which of us could blame him..? Naaman came to Elisha, expecting some religious rite to be performed over him. Perhaps, Elisha would lead him to some acts of penance, where he would have to inflict suffering upon himself in order to be healed. Or maybe he would have to make an offering to God or give them away in the name of alms, for the sake of his sins..? Naaman came from Syria carrying quite a load of wealth: nearly a dozen kilos of gold and over three hundred kilos of silver. If Elisha had set a price for his healing, I wonder, would he have sounded more authentic in the eyes of Naaman..?
Through Elisha though, God offered Naaman healing from his disease, without any religiosity or penance, and even without a price. All God asked of Naaman, was to believe in His word, and do the most simplest of acts and he would be healed. And this certainly was one occasion where an offer that was ‘too good’, happened to be true too.
And his servants came near, and spoke unto him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had bid you do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much rather then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?'”
2 Kings 5:13
While Naaman’s reaction was typically human, another act that wasn’t typically so is what lead him eventually to his healing. As Naaman turned away to leave, he paused to listen to his lowly servants, as they pleaded with him to take up Elisha on his offer. While the Jordan was – and still remains – powerless to heal, Naaman witnessed the power of the One who could heal him, in a single act of faith….
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
How much similar is the healing of Naaman to the healing that God offers you and me, from the burden of our sins, through Christ Jesus..? Without religiosity..? Without acts of penance..? Without price..? All that He asks of us, who are burdened by our sins, is this: To believe in the message of the Christ, that He has borne all our sins – past, present and future – once and for all, when He died as an eternal sacrifice for us on the cross. To those of us who deeply repent of our sins, can there be any other offer that is as good, and yet so true..?
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Missing inside me is something,
Missed by a heaving heart.
Like a separation,
From somewhere I’m meant to be.
Like a separation,
From someone I’m meant to be with.
To quench the thirst there is nothing,
To quench the thirst in my soul.
There are places that can enchant,
And make you feel alive,
But only for a while.
There are people who fill the void,
But never ever, forever.
Can there ever be any one thing,
That I could need, more than this..?
To eternally be,
In that place,
In the loving embrace,
Of the Person,
Who is the Father,
To Christ the sinless One,
And to me, His sinful son..?
Who loves us both,
All the same..?
All I can have is everything,
When I have Him, I have all there is.
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.