Joyful Greetings to each of you,
Did you know that your joy in Jesus can be seriously affected by your attitude? Each one of us has a choice to make each day about whether we will allow life’s trials and tribulations to steal our joy.
There is a story in the Old Testament found in 2 Kings 5 of the “Little Captive Maid.” You know the story. The King of Syria’s army led by Naaman, a “mighty man of valor,” had raided the land of the Israelites and taken many captives, among them this little girl.
The story tells us that Naaman, although a mighty man, had leprosy. This was a death sentence in Bible times. Amazingly, the Little Maid came to the rescue of her master. The question that comes to my mind is “Why?”
Why would this little girl, who had been ripped from the loving arms of her family by this cruel man even think of helping him? Can you imagine what she must have felt living in a strange country, strange food, strange language, strange people, and even stranger customs? How lonely and forsaken she must have felt. A stranger in a strange land, but not alone. The God of her parents and her people was with her and she felt His love and peace in her life.
I have read this story many times and I know that my reaction would not have been the same as hers. I would have thought that this was God’s retribution on Naaman's life for what he had done to me and my family. I might even have felt smug in the knowledge that God is my judge and He will deal with those who do me evil.
But that was not the Little Maid’s attitude. She made a different choice. She chose not to let her present situation steal her joy and peace in the God of her people, Jehovah-Jireh (God is our help). She decided that day to choose an attitude of joy. And with that choice came the love and compassion she needed to show mercy and grace to her master.
So what about us? Does God expect less from us? I don’t think so. Each day we have a choice to make: will we choose to show God’s love or will we choose to be bitter, resentful and angry with God because He did not work things out so that life could be easier?
Today, ask God for the strength of the Little Captive Maid. He is the same God now as He was then and He knows that our joy in Him is our strength.
Your sister in Jesus,
Director, Women's Ministries
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists