In 2 Kings 5 we meet a man named Naaman who is described as “a great man” and “a valiant soldier.” He was the commander of a king’s army. However, there was just one problem with Naaman. He had leprosy.
We then meet a little girl who was taken captive from Israel by the army that Naaman was commander of. This girl was the servant of Naaman’s wife. When the girl saw that Naaman had leprosy, she said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” The mistress then told her husband, Naaman, what her servant girl said, and Naaman went to see the prophet in Samaria, Elisha, who told Naaman how he could be cured of his leprosy. Naaman’s wife and her little servant girl are not mentioned again, but they play essential roles in one of the most miraculous Old Testament stories. Despite the vast differences in their ages, status, cultural backgrounds, and beliefs, Naaman’s wife and her little servant girl had a mutual respect for one another and desired to see their husband and master healed.
1. Naaman’s wife and her little servant girl were concerned about the well-being of others, namely Naaman. It was probably especially upsetting to Naaman’s wife that her husband had leprosy. No doubt, she had looked for other ways for him to be healed, but to no avail. The little servant girl probably heard about Naaman’s leprosy from her mistress, and immediately thought of someone who could heal him. These two were not self-centered. They were not content with only themselves being healthy. They wanted Naaman to be healthy, as well.
Philippians 2:3 says, “Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.” The little servant girl had nothing to gain by recommending that Naaman go and see the prophet Elisha. She was not motivated to speak up by selfish ambition or vanity. But in showing concern for Naaman, her actions showed that she considered him more important than herself. She did not only look out for her own interests, but also for the interests of her master and mistress.
When we show concern for the well-being of others, we are imitating Christ. When He was here on earth, He was often moved with compassion to help those who were sick, hurting, and hungry. He was never thinking of Himself. He was always thinking of others.
2. The little servant girl bloomed where God planted her. Here she was, taken captive from Israel, away from her family and friends, in a strange county amid strange people. It would have been easy for her to become sad, depressed, and sick for home. She could have clammed up and turned inward. She could have only been concerned with her own lot, and not the lot of her master and mistress. But the little servant girl did no such thing. She knew that the prophet Elisha had God’s power to heal diseases, so she told her mistress about him. If she had not done so, not only would Naaman not have been healed, but he also would have never come to believe in the one true God.
Even though she may not have known it at the time, God had the little servant girl taken captive for a reason. Because her trust was in God and in His plan for her life, she was used to bring a powerful army commander to faith in God. After Naaman dipped seven times in the Jordan river and saw his flesh restored, he said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” In verse 17 of 2 Kings 5, Naaman promised, to “never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord.”
We may not always know why God has us in a place or why He allows a certain situation to happen to us, but we must trust in His plan and purpose. Our struggle may result in a blessing for someone else. Our pain may bring about joy for another person. We do not exist for ourselves alone. Everything that happens to us is not necessarily for us. We must choose to make the best of every situation that we are in and look beyond ourselves to see how we can help others in some way. Our presence can cause a non-believer to come to faith in Christ.