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In II Kings 5:1-14, we read about a miracle of healing that occurs in a most unexpected place, in the River Jordan with Naaman, the commander of the armies of Aram. Naaman has a problem, leprosy, one of the most dreaded diseases of the ancient world, and he needs a solution; a healing.

That's something we can all relate to. Naaman seeks his solution and, by the grace of God, he finds it. All he has to do is "Do it."

Naaman is told that his healing will be found in washing seven times in a muddy river and he tramps off in a rage because he wants -- and expects -- the solution to be something different, something more dramatic, something more special, something that is more proportional to who he his and to what is problem is. How close Naaman came to walking away from the cure! Naaman is much like us.

We have a hard time grasping that the small things -- the seemingly unimportant things are the things that God most often uses to accomplish great things. We have a hard time grasping that solutions, especially divine solutions, are most often wrapped up in obedience -- obedience in what are seemingly small matters.

I can think of people who have gone to their doctor after a heart attack and have been told to walk for 30 or so minutes each day. It's a small thing (relatively speaking) but many don't do it. Diet change is another one. The solution is there. And it's up to us to do it. But many don't. I can hear a bit of Naaman saying, "I want the cure, but I don't want to be part of it. Someone else is supposed to care of things for me. I should only have to show up and be healed."

Fortunately, Naaman listens to his servants.

I wonder what it must have been like for Naaman after the first dunk in the Jordan? And after the second, third, fourth, and nothing had happened. I wonder if Naaman began to doubt. Fifth. Still no healing. Sixth. Nothing. I wonder if he said, with mud dripping off his hair: "Let's get this over with. Yuck!" or "What's the use!" Yet he persevered -- he immersed himself the seventh time -- and lo -- the blessing came!

That's usually the way God works. We don't earn the blessing. But are granted the blessing when we surrender our wills to His will. When we earnestly seek a solution to our problems, God is faithful and will supply a solution.

What act of humble obedience do you need to perform so that you might claim what God is offering to you? The solution is here -- it is already in your hearts -- and upon your lips, that is the word of faith that we are proclaiming. The Scriptures speak of small matters -- with big consequences. It is up to us to receive the word -- or not. It is my prayer that you may indeed receive the word of peace, and be ones who live by it in trust and humble obedience.

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Editor's note: The Rev. Dr. Scott Stewart is the pastor of Pea Ridge United Methodist Church and Brightwater Methodist Church. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. He can be contacted at [email protected] or 479-659-9519.

Religion on 05/13/2020

Print Headline: Small matters may have big consequences

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