So, what’s in your backpack of expectations?
Is it full of the one expectation that matters?
This is a simple story of a young girl in an impossible situation. Incredibly, she clutched her bag
stuffed with high hopes and filled with promises. Though her life had been stolen from her, she
kept her courage. At just the right time, she opened the clasp to release grace to an enemy in
despair, and her captor was set free.
She Couldn’t Stop Herself
It could have been overheard as she was brushing the foreign lady’s hair, or painting her nails.
Perhaps she was serving food at tea or holding her beautiful gowns while the woman dressed
for dinner. Whatever task she was doing for the powerful wife, the young girl waited expectantly to share a burning truth in her heart.
She listened intently as the distraught lady fretted over her husband’s debilitating health
condition. Her intuition took hold. Yes, speak now!
Taking a chance, she spoke out of conviction. I imagine her saying,
“I know where a cure can be found!”
Can you just picture all the women in the room turning their curious and furious eyes on her?
How dare she speak to the lady!
But the girl didn’t care and she couldn’t stop herself. She knew God and trusted in his power.
She spoke up to the master’s wife, risking her own life as she did.
“If only my master would see the prophet. He would cure him.”
And then, she was silent. The account never mentions her again.
A Firestorm of Actions
However, the girl’s interjection set off a firestorm of actions. Her brief testimony showcased
God’s ability to turn the impossible into miraculous praise.
What God did with her words was nothing short of spectacular. We are told the sick man…
- Withdrew the equivalent of a million dollars to cover expenses for the healing
- Endured a long trip to a foreign country while he was wracked with the illness
- Took verbal abuse from the foreign country’s leader, who was angry with his request for
- Was basically ignored by the healer who refused to see him
- Was given a nonsensical treatment plan
- Completed the unlikely and humiliating treatment anyway
- Was not only healed, but rescued from his worst enemy
- Acquired true joy in his healing
- Became a believer in the young girl’s Lord
- Proclaimed the power and wisdom of the true God
The man, of course, is Naaman, a respected and wealthy commander of the Aramean army. His
desperation to get healed of leprosy caused him to heed an enslaved Israelite servant girl’s
wisdom. The prophet would not see him, but merely sent the word to dip into the dingy Jordan
River seven times. Naaman persisted. He believed the young girl’s word.
He dipped as directed, and was consequently healed by the God of the young girl. He returned
home with the skin of a young boy. He also returned with an even greater blessing: Faith and
trust planted in his heart by the God of all hope, who does the impossible.
As a slave, the girl was faithful to Naaman’s wife. Despite being captured and forced to serve,
she never lost hope. Instead, she worked hard to serve her captors. Ironically, she wasn’t bitter
at her circumstances. She just expected and trusted God to bless her, and her new masters,
Through it all, the girl served God’s purpose for her life. With her simple words of caring, God
set off a string of events, bringing Naaman to become a believer and worshipper of the God of
Her simple story is astounding.
There’s a lesson to be learned from this girl: High hopes are a privilege of being God’s child.
Not that we have high expectations of people, but that we have high expectations of God and
his glory. We can expect him to surprise us, and do way more than we can think or imagine. The
Apostle Paul says God can do “immeasurably more,” (Ephesians 1:20), so why do we doubt?
Our Lord will never bring us to disaster. Period. He always has a plan, and there’s a part for us
to play. We merely need to hold tight to the backpack of his goodness.
And we, like the young girl, can relax into his power, no matter our life situation. We can share our treasure trove of good news, and then be still as he works out the rest, according to his
Expect the Lord to do marvelous things, the ones that really matter!
Read her story in 2 Kings 5.
Father, you are almighty and loving. Your desire for us is to give you glory, but we hide behind our weaknesses instead of beneath your wings. Help us speak of your promises to others. Give us courage to boast in you and your ability to heal and restore our every need, especially our need for a Savior. Then, guide us to step aside and behold your wondrous works. Lead us to bow our hearts in gratitude and praise for your grace and mercy. In Jesus. Amen.