Noticing the question
Monday, March 12, 2007
Jesus said, "I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Egypt's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet,yet not one of them was cleansed - only Naaman the Syrian.
There seems to be nothing special about either of these recipients of God's grace. Their stories (told in 2 Kings 5:1-5 and 1 Kings 17:8-24) are marked by obedience in the wake of initial skepticism. God gives them a gift withheld from many others with the same problems.
"Why" is the wrong question. Any question directed toward God is probably the wrong question. He just doesn't answer them.
But these stories help me to grow up. Time after time God asks me to suspend my own judgments, conclusions and general small thinking to join him on a venture where He makes the rules and calls the shots.
When I say "yes" to this invitation, it's likely to be repeated. If I say "no," God may shake the dust off his sandals and move on.
For the widow this invitation involved risking the little food she had to feed a stranger. Naaman, on the other hand, had to sacrifice his pride. In both cases they were given much more than they gave. God always does that. Gives much more back to me than I ever can give him.
Why would I ever turn him down? I do, though. And then it's harder to hear him the next time... or maybe He's gone off for awhile. Once I realize what I've done, there is nothing for me but to ask him to return. Because going with God on whatever path He chooses is the only way to live.
Let me notice you, Lord, when you are here. And open my mouth and say, "Yes."