* If only...'s Testimony
* If only...
` * If only...
* "well, I thought"...
* "why not"...
"IF ONLY . . . ."
"If only" . . . "well, I thought" . . . "turned in anger" . . . "why
not" . . . "wash, and be clean" . . . and "now I know" !!!
The young teenager had been captured by insurgents... dragged away
from her family by rough soldiers and taken acrosss the border to be
sold into slavery. Lonely and without frieds or family she became a
servant in the household of a high ranking military commander.
Yet, while she had lost so mych, she had brought something with her
that no soldier could have taken from her. Something very precious.
Something so precious it has sustained many persons who have found
themselves in the most horrible circumstances. Be it in hunger, in
loneliness, in suffering, in anguish, in prison and even in death.
Within her heart and treasured in her mind were the things she had
learned in her childhood in the 'Sabbath-school'. That she had learned
about the Mightly God of Father Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. How the God
of Israel was mightier than any of the gods of surrounding nations. How
he had delivered her forefathers from Egypt with many miracles: Taken
them through the Red Sea and the wilderness. And of how after 40 years
they had finally arrived in the Promised land. And yes, she had also
learned that her people had suffered through attacks by surrounding
nations when her people had forsaken the God of Israel and had
worshipped gods made of gold, wood or stone and prayed to them. She
steadfastly believed in a promised Messiah. Her God was the absolute
just and fair God who ruled heaven and earth. And it was this solid
faith that supported her even now in her position as a slave-girl in a
foreign land whole separated from her family without any hopee of ever
seeing them again.
(When you can get a Bible you can read her fantastic story in 2 Kinds
Chapter 5, verses 1 to 15.)
So, here she is working obediently in this foreign home among
strangers that do not believe in the God of Israel. Lonely, but not
alone, for she has a song in her heart and prays the prayers of her
Then she hears about the horrible sickness that has attacked her
employer. Her Captain boss Naaman, has leprosy! First it is just a
whisper but soon it becomes clearer and she notices how family members
and even the servants are more and more avoiding getting too close to
Naaman, leave alone touching him. What is this going to mean to the
whole household?! Naaman himself appears to be getting more and more
religious as he gets more sick and is offering sacrifices to this god
and then to that god. He is seeking help from priests and
fortune-tellers. But all to no avail. Will he be able to remain a
Captain? She is actually starting to feel more and more sorry for her
employer. Will he become a poor outcast, a bit like she is herself?!
Maybe he will finish up scrounging for food at the local dump till he
dies! She remembers that in her own country the local dump was like an
eternal fire as it was kept burning all the time and the lepper
outcasts when they died were cremated there, to kill the infections
they had carried.
It was all too horrible to think about. She really did not wish
that future on him.
IF ONLY... He could get to know her Almighty God!! Yes there was a
great Prophet in Samaria, through him Naaman could recover from his
leprosy! She was sure!
Please, Lord give me the courage to tell my master about You,
And so the day come that this faithful young girl plucked up the
courage and went in to speak to her Mistress. Humbly she told her that
her husband should go to Samaria to see the Prophet of Israel.
Then she returned to her quarters and prayed...
Soon Naaman was persuaded and plans were made to gather even the
King's support. Great gifts were put together to pay this Samarian
prophet to get him to do his best for her Master. The King even gave a
fine letter of support to the King of Israel. Horses, wagons and
soldiers all assembled for the journey to Samaria. However the Israeli
king was not at all pleased when he was approached as if he was a god
that could do miracles. He sent Naaman and his troops to the Prophet's
house. Not much of a welcome there either, Naaman was simply told to
humble himself and go and wash in the rather unclean river Jordan. He
did not like that at all and wanted to wash himself in the clean
mountain streams in his own country.
"well, I thought..." and he trned in anger..." "why not... (my own
But one of his servants put up a good argument by pointing out that
if the Prophet has asked Naaman to do some mighty deed he would have
done it, no trouble. Well, Captain Naaman got the message and did what
he was told to do and was healed and cleansed from his disease. Praise
God. And that was how he came to believe in the one and only true God,
the God who loved him even though he did not deserve it.
"wash, and be clean...", and "now I know..."
Wasn't it good that one young girl spoke up for her Saviour and
Many of us find ourselves in different difficult circumstances.
Maybe we are sick ourselves or care for a very sick child, so sick that
he or she may never even get better. Some of us are very poor and may
not have a nice house . . . or even clean water . . . Some of us are
very handicapped and can do very little for ourselves.
Yes, the reasons for our situations may be hard to accept. We
wonder sometimes whether God does love us at all. We are so lonely and
often so sad . . .
Why does He not heal us!?
Let's think this over. The Jewish girl in our story was real. The
story is true. She was herself suffering badly, but she loved Naaman
even though she was his slave. The Peace in her heart had made her
content and she could even care for and love her Master. Yes she had
peace in her heart because she did not see this life on earth as the
beginning and end of all. After we die we will live forever, either in
harmony with God or not.
Do you know what makes a person a real Christian? They accept that
God loves them, forgives them for their wrong doings and saves them so
they may spend eternity in his presence. Jesus came to earth to die for
sinners so that if you and I believe and accept that love, we may be
with Him in heaven.
So the focus is not on this life here on earth but on the hereafter
Many things on earth are very very beautiful, but other things can
also be very very bad. Yes, life here on earth can indeed be worse than
terrible, and very hard to understand, leave alone us being able to
explain why things are this way or that. This world is full of sin and
we see the results.
But a true believer in Jesus has peace and joy that fills his or
her heart. It gives that person the courage to face the battles in this
life. Nobody could make our slave girl despondent. And nobody can take
God's peace away from you or me. That peace became ours when we
received forgiveness in accepting that Love of Jesus. He is our one and
only perfect Saviour and Lord.
So let us turn to Him, accept the burdens we are required to bear
as well as the blessings that He gives us. His love may come to us
through the love of a helper when we're in need, maybe some rice to ear
or a new mat to sleep on. Maybe an operation or medicine. Even the
fresh air we breathe is proof that God loves us.
We don't need to be scared of death. True Christians are not afraid
to die! Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and will receive us to
Himself; He said so!
We should focus on others, help them and love them as Jesus would
have us do.
He tells us in Matthew's Gospel that if we love those in need, it
is just as if we love Him personally. And there is no better way in the
world to say 'thank you' to our Saviour for the Gift of eternal live
that He has given us than to give our lives as a token of thanks.
Think it over !
This tract was specifically composed for distribution amongst the
families that receive practical support for their terminally ill
handicapped family member from the Dips'n Trust.
We commend it however also for wider distribution.
For more helpful scripture pamplets:
Dips'n Trust 47 Brookfield Tce., Tauranga, New Zealand a
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