Advent Reflection: Simple is not always easy!

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So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

II Kings 5:14

Has there been a time in your life when you’ve experienced healing or blessing from an unexpected source?

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Going Deeper

Read II Kings 5:1-17.

What God asks of us is often simple. Naaman expected to pay an extravagant price and was willing to do any number of complicated things to merit healing.

However, what is simple is not always easy. All Naaman had to do was wash in the Jordan River. But the Jordan was small and muddy, especially compared to the great rivers in other parts of the world. His pride almost prevented Naaman from doing the one simple thing that he needed to do to be healed.

In my life, I have seen this idea (simple but not easy) borne out in the area of sharing my faith. The directive is simple: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” (from I Peter 3:15) But carrying it out can be difficult and scary. I can remember a couple of different times when I’ve been involved in a conversation that developed into a perfect opportunity for me to share a story of how God has worked in my life. Both times I recognized the opportunity, but then I got scared and said nothing.

Thinking about the situations later, I tried to figure out what I was scared of. The people I was talking with were close friends who knew that my faith was important to me. I wasn’t afraid of what they would think of me. I realized that I was scared that my friends would be dismissive of my story, assuming that what happened had nothing to do with God. I was afraid they would trivialize this essential part of my life.

I’ve since realized that God can handle people’s indifference and even hostility toward him—after all, he’s been dealing with it as long as people have lived on earth. It’s not my job to change people’s minds through my brilliant stories and irrefutable arguments. It’s my job to speak the truth about my experiences of God and to be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks the reason for my hope—always.

What is your faith story? Practice telling your story out loud. Is there someone in your life who needs to hear that story?

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