Encouragement for Today - Nov. 12, 2007



November 12, 2007


I Thought

By Luann Prater


“But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.” 2 Kings 5:11 (NIV)



Leprosy is an infectious disease that is characterized by disfiguring skin sores, nerve damage, and progressive debilitation. Being healed, with or without a dramatic flare should be appreciated. And yet, because God did not perform the miracle in the showy way Naaman thought, he was angry.


The job posting popped into my email. I hadn’t gone looking for it, but there it was. A store manager’s position was being sought for a local bridal shop. I wondered how in the world it ended up in my email. Always looking for God’s fingerprints on my life, I responded to the notice with a simple reply, “Hopefully God will bring just the right person with bridal experience to you, if he does not, however, call me.” And she did! She had only posted her job offer through the employment security office, so she was baffled why it ended up in my email. From the moment we met, we knew that God had meant for us to come together in some way.


I thought for sure that God had some miraculous reason for bringing our two lives together. At work each day I would watch and listen for signs of His purpose for having me there. Day after day, the drudgery of dealing with egocentric brides made me grow weary wondering if God really had a plan for me there or had I missed something.


The first week on the job I met an alterationist named Alexandra. She was from Ecuador and had not been home for 8 years. Only a month earlier I had discovered that our Proverbs 31 team would be traveling to Ecuador with Compassion International. “Ok God, is this the reason you brought me to this place?” I queried. I had many opportunities to talk with her about God. During my visit to Ecuador I hand delivered a care package from Alexandra for her family.


One day a bride was devastated when her wedding was cancelled. I wrapped my arms around her and asked if I could pray with her. Gently laying her head on my shoulder she shook her head and we prayed.


In the middle of the bustling busy day a bridesmaid came in with an attitude. She snapped at a young clerk so I stepped in and asked if she was ok. She grumbled that she had committed to be in a friend’s wedding this weekend but this was the last place on earth she wanted to be. It seems her mother had just been in a head-on collision and was struggling for her very life in ICU. The frivolous trappings of a wedding had become a frustration. I asked if I could pray for her. She took my hands and we prayed.


So there has never been a showy lightning bolt experience that told me, “Ah-ha, THIS is why you brought me here!” I've only found moment-by-moment happenings that beckon me to be Jesus with skin on as I live each day.


Looking back on my life I can see countless times where I thought I knew what God was up to, only to discover later that I had no clue.


Are you frustrated with where God has placed you? Do you wonder why on earth you are here? Or what in the world is He thinking? Our infectious disease may be anger at the way God answers our prayers.


I encourage you to look beyond your helplessness and behold: The Healer.


Father, we are so blind to your ways. Open our eyes to see past our circumstances and see Your plan. Give us contentment wherever we are in this life and a joyful spirit that gives You praise in the midst of all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

God Calling by A.J. Russell 


Do You Know Him?


God’s Purpose for Every Woman by editors: Lysa TerKeurst and Rachel Olsen


Application Steps: 

Read 2 Kings Chapter 5 and discover that God delivers.



What causes me to doubt?


How can I see God at work in the every day things of life?


Why do I long for showy results from God?


Power Verses:

Psalm 68:3, But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” (NIV) 


Isaiah 55:12, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;” (NIV) 


Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” (NIV) 


Romans 4:20-21, “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (NIV) 



Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Monday, 12 November 2007.