Read: 2 Kings 5:1-6; 2 Kings 5:15-19; 2 Corinthians 5:20
I love it that the Lord tucks His people into such a variety of places. We who love Him are often not a part of the movers and shakers, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. Yet some who have been born anew, John 3:3 are known all over the world. Each of God's sons and daughters has a unique sphere of influence according to the Lord's choosing.
This week, I read about Elinor Young, a lady who served in Papua for less than 18 years. Not a long time for someone who was working to translate the scriptures into the very complex language of the Kimyal tribe. Yet, this determined woman whose body had been weakened by polio which she contracted as a child, longed to serve the Kimyal who craved the Word of God in their own language. I love it when we either experience or learn second hand about how God uses what man counts to be a limitation to further His work. Because God often shines through weakness, people can learn about what He is like and His love for them. That is what He did through Elinor Young, and it started with a desire to go on an outing. One day, Elinor's missionary friends wanted to go on a picnic during their ten-day break. They faced a dilemma. Elinor's legs weren't strong enough for the walk to the valley where they wanted to go. Not deterred, they devised a homemade conveyance with poles and a well-placed seat. Elinor could be carried by two men. So, she went and enjoyed the outing. That was merely the first use of what Elinor called her Mountain Transport System. Elinor discovered that whenever she was carried, the men who had been hired to transport her spoke freely and easily among themselves. She learned a great deal about the Kimyal language from the every-day banter of the men and she came to understand word pictures that she could use as she worked on her translation. What the world likely saw as a deficit and a limitation, God used to help her translate 1/3 of the New Testament with word pictures that could teach the Kimyal people beautiful theological truths.
In today's scripture reading, we are reminded of a beautiful example concerning how God used someone the world would have called insignificant. There are no limitations that God can't leap over to do what He desires to do. The Insignificant. The unnamed young girl, 2 Kings 5:1-6; 2 Kings 5:15-19. What effect could she have on anyone's life? After all, she had been taken from her home by those who had raided her country. She was a servant. No doubt her daily tasks were simple ones. Nothing to bring her fame, and yet her reaction to the need she saw in her new sphere of influence would change one man's life and who can say where the ripples of her influence went after that? I love her tender heart as she saw the need of her mistress' husband, Naaman. He had leprosy, and rather than rejoicing in his ailment, she longed for his healing. Rather than bitterness oozing out of her because of her having been taken away from her home, she desired that the blessing of wholeness would come to Naaman. In 2 Kings 5, we see that God brought about even more than physical cleansing. It appears that Naaman came to know the Living God.
Often, people ask a simple question when beginning a conversation with someone new. What do you do? Think of the young girl's answer. I serve my mistress far from my home. Yet, her service to her mistress was merely the platform God used. A springboard for her being His life changer. If we have tasted that God is Good, Psalm 34:8, we too can be used by God to impact lives for eternity. Whether the platform we have seems to be large or small, makes no difference to God.
Back to Elinor Young. Once when she was being carried, one of those who were conveying her said: "You and us, we are small on the outside but big on the inside." When we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, how true that is! Both Elinor Young and the unnamed maid in 2 Kings 5 have this in common. Each, in her own way lived with the understanding that people need the Lord.
Many things are in flux around us, but that same truth gives us stability. Whether they know it or not, everyone in our sphere of influence needs God, and we have a part to play in proclaiming the fact that that need is only met through Jesus, Acts 4:12.
The song ‘PEOPLE NEED THE LORD’ by Steve Green, reminds us:
We are called to take His light
To a world where wrong seems right.
What would be too great a cost
For sharing life with one who's lost?
Through His love our hearts can feel
All the grief they bear.
They must hear the words of life
Only we can share.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord; people need the Lord.
When will we realize that we must give our lives,
For people need the Lord.