2 Kings 5:1-15; Luke 4:24-30
Exotic things, things that are “out of the ordinary” almost always have an appeal for us. By the very fact that they are unfamiliar, they catch our eye and draw our interest. By contrast, the “ordinary” often passes by unnoticed; everyday things fail to attract.
This truth of our human nature has a great impact when it comes to discovering God at work in our lives and in our world. We know that God can be present in some extraordinary events and circumstances; but what we often fail to acknowledge is that God habitually chooses the ordinary as the place of his activity.
Naaman, the Syrian army commander, afflicted with leprosy, was appalled at the suggestion that, to cure his leprosy, he ought to bathe in the Jordan River. That river? It’s so ordinary; how about something more exotic? Yet, by humbly submitting to that originally absurd suggestion, he received the cure he desired. Too good to be true!
Jesus, fresh from his victory over the desert temptations, comes to his home town and is rejected by its citizens. “God is at work in him? No way! We know this guy, we’ve watched him grow up. God couldn’t possibly be that close!” Too close for comfort!
One of the great difficulties that the very earliest Christians had was convincing their neighbors, accustomed to great religious spectacles, that baptism—just being washed with water—really did bring with it the promise of living forever. “Washing in water? Just ordinary water? Isn’t there something more to it than that?” Too much to believe!
What are the circumstances in which God will meet you today? What individual will God choose to work through for you today? Too good to be true? Too close for comfort? Too much to believe?
By Richard Gabuzda