Thursday, May 3, 2012
Life, Mongolian Beef, and What Naaman Almost Missed Out On
Yesterday was Pre-K, peanut butter and jelly, and piano lessons. I washed rugs, cleaned bathrooms, then Trev and I searched for Waldo (and managed to find him, much to Trevor's delight).
Jimmy has been teaching a "Personality Profile" series at youth group taking a look at different people in the Bible. Last night's message was on Naaman, and I found myself once again grateful to sit under my husband's teaching each week. I hadn't heard the story of Naaman in a long time, and boy was I reminded of some important lessons.
If you have no idea who Naaman is, you can find out about him in 2 Kings chapter 5. But here is a snapshot of his story! Naaman had it going on in terms of what the world has to offer. He had a great military career as commander of the army in Syria. He had many successes and victories under his belt. He had prestige, fame, and money.
But he also had leprosy.
And a servant girl from Israel told his wife she knew a prophet in Samaria who could heal him. So Naaman goes on a journey with his entourage - horses, chariot, the works - and goes to the prophet Elisha's house. But Elisha doesn't come out. Rather he sends a messenger who tells Naaman to go wash in the Jordan River (a notably polluted river) seven times and he will be clean from his leprosy.
Well, Naaman isn't too happy. In fact, the Bible says he was furious! He thought the prophet himself would come out, stand and call on the name of the Lord, wave his hand and a miracle of healing would take place then and there. This man of position and prestige, who had come with a lot of money to pay for his services, expected more than just a messenger asking him to go dunk in a dirty river! He was a celebrity and hero who wanted a public, heroic cure! He leaves in a rage, ready to walk away from the whole thing.
But his servants talk him into trying, and guess what?
When he obeys and dips in the Jordan River seven times, he is healed. His leprosy is gone, and Scripture records his flesh is restored to that of a little child.
The lessons we learned last night?
Pride can keep us from receiving God's best. (Naaman's pride and the anger that stemmed from it nearly kept him from getting healed of a terrible, isolating disease.)
God's ways are not our ways. (No, dipping in the Jordan River probably didn't sound appealing or seem to make sense. But God's ways are so different from our ways. Again, if Naaman had gone with his own idea of how things should go, he would have missed the healing God offered him.)
God blesses obedience. (When Naaman obeyed the words of the prophet, he was indeed healed. His disobedience would have left him missing out on the miracle. Even though he had fame, power, and money, it was his obedience that restored him.)
I needed those reminders.
And I loved listening to the students engaging in the story, asking questions, discovering a man they had never heard of and learning something from his life thousands of years later.
I love God's Word. And I love listening to my husband teach it.
After youth group, we tucked the kids in bed then I read until I couldn't hold my eyes open any more.
This morning I took the kids to school early because I had to practice with one of the school choirs I will be accompanying in their concert next week.
The rest of the day flew by and I made Mongolian Beef and Shrimp before band practice. This was so easy!
I had a craving for Asian food, some stir fry beef in the freezer and jasmine rice in the pantry that I wanted to use. I picked up a Mongolian Sauce marinade packet at the store that was as easy as mixing it with soy sauce, water, and a little bit of oil. After browning the meat I added the marinade, then added some frozen cooked shrimp I thawed, some broccoli I steamed, and some cut baby corn from a can. It was fast and yummy!
Now practice is over, the kids are bed, and I think I'm going to read some more. I'm in the middle of a good book and can't wait to get back to it! I love to read.
Tomorrow is another early morning as Madi has music practice before school. She has several programs coming up, including one where she will be dancing "The Twist."
Now, that I can't wait to see!