Sunday, November 2, 2008

Namaan; 4 miles

Today was the Packers/Titans game, which I had to watch. The Titans were 7-0 going in and I was so torn about which team to cheer for. I wanted the Packers to win, because if I bleed any color other than normal, it's green and gold (Wisconsin!), but I wanted the Titans to win because I live here and wanted them to remain undefeated. The Titans ended up winning in overtime. Plus I washed and vacuumed my car and checked my fluids, which is less than convenient to do at my apt; things like that definitely make me miss home.

I went home and ran 4 miles of my planned 13. I wanted to be home before dark and in time to listen to Ravi Zacharias. It was well worth it, because he's doing a series on Namaan, which you can find in 2 Kings 5:1-27 but I'll summarize here: Namaan (N) was an army commander and had a serious skin disease. At the advice of a wise servant girl in his home, he went to see Elisha (E) the prophet to have E heal N of leprosy. What N arrived at E's house, E's servant answered the door and said that E said that N should go and wash himself in the Jordan river 7 times and then he'd be clean. N was upset, first because E wouldn't even come to the door, and second because there were other rivers with cleaner water closer to N's home that he thought he could just as well have washed in. N's servants said to him, "If the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it?" So N went and washed 7 times in the river and was cleansed of leprosy. Then he gave glory to God for the miracle: "Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel."

It was the question posed by N's servants that had me thinking today. Sunday in church we learned about spiritual gifts (speaking and serving are the two main categories), so doing has been on my mind. What has God asked me to do lately that I might not have done because I didn't think it so great? Am I just waiting for Him to ask me to do something great before I obey Him? I have a few desires that I'm asking Him to give me, but I want to be in His will in everything. But often I'm so busy waiting for His answer to those requests to hear His prodding me to obey Him in other areas. But really, it only takes faith as big as a mustard seed to move a mountain. Why then am I so hesitant to obey in the little things (like using my gifts, which He's given me through the Spirit, to bless others) and then think I have the faith to obey Him in the big things (that I'm still waiting for, likely because I've not been obeying in the little things).

I feel like Paul: "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me." (Romans 7:15-20). Actually I'm feeling a lot more than this, but I just can't sort anything else out. Lots of questions and very few answers.

So the 4 miles were good, but the lesson was way better. Now I just have to remember to step out in faith to do the simple things even when I think I should be doing a great thing. Who knows...maybe the little thing will end up being a great thing here, but more likely I will end up with a reward in heaven, for our Father who sees in secret rewards openly.

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