Lessons from Childlike Faith | Family Devotional | Constant Source Weekly
This year we are publishing the main section of a current issue of Constant Source Weekly to our blog each month. Each blog entry will include the main commentary for that week’s issue, questions to help you reflect and internalize the lesson, and connection points to help you engage with your family in conversations about the things you are learning about God. It is our hope that this would be a year where more families around the world prioritize seeking Christ together and would exhibit His life and love to those around them. If you want to take a look at last month’s issue, check out our post entitled Holy Spirit is Here.
Read 2 Kings 5:1-14
(Every Constant Source Weekly is inspired by four pieces of Scripture from all different parts of the Bible. One of those texts becomes the main foundation for the lesson and is interwoven throughout. Start by reading the text linked above.)
(Every Scripture reading is paired with a commentary section that explains the core themes of the passage, discusses the way the reading informs our faith, and helps interconnect all parts of the Bible. Read that next below.)
In our readings for this week, we see two overarching themes that are deeply intertwined. First and most obviously, we see the theme of healing. In each story, the healing is typically from some sort of tangible sickness, but often, it also simultaneously connotes internal healing of the heart, of a sin that blocks us from all that God has for us. The second theme is the impact of one’s selflessness on others. In 2 Kings, this is linked to the actions of a child and embodied in her childlike faith. Let’s take a look.
In 2 Kings 5, the narrator tells the story of a man named Naaman, the king of Aram’s general, who had a terrible skin disease. His wife’s servant girl told her that if Naaman would go to the prophet in Israel, he could be healed. So Naaman went to the king of Israel, but the king got very angry because he knew he couldn’t actually heal Naaman. Luckily, Elisha had heard about what was going on and called for Naaman. When Naaman arrived, Elisha used a messenger to instruct Naaman to wash in the Jordan River seven times and he would be healed. Naaman reluctantly obliged and was healed of his terrible skin disease. As we dive into this story, we must not undervalue the extreme selflessness of the servant girl. All too often the Church forgets about the power of children; we miss an opportunity to see the value that they add to our context and the important part they play in God’s Kingdom as God moves, works, and blesses the community through them.
It is by no accident that the narrator included that the source of Naaman’s information came from a child. 2 Kings 5:2-4 reads, “Now Aramean raiding parties had gone out and captured a young girl from the land of Israel. She served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, ‘I wish that my master could come before the prophet who lives in Samaria. He would cure him of his skin disease.’ So Naaman went and told his master what the young girl from the land of Israel had said.” In these three verses, we are introduced to a remarkably brave and faithful little girl from Israel. There are a couple of things that can be learned from this little girl. First off, the narrator chose to represent Israel with a child. I have many guesses as to why, but I think the takeaway is that the narrator chose a child because an adult wouldn’t have done what she did. Verse 2 tells us that this little girl was captured and taken from her home; she was enslaved. When was the last time you had everything taken away and then chose to help those who took it all from you? This remarkable little girl had the audacity to forgive. She was the first domino to fall, in a series of events, which led to the salvation of this Aramean commander. Children are quick to forgive, and we should learn from them and do the same.
Second, the faith that led her to believe that the prophet of Israel could help Naaman had to have been instilled in her somewhere along the line. The text doesn’t tell us exactly how this little girl came into her great faith, but we can assume one of two things. Either God spoke to this little girl and encouraged her to talk to Naaman’s wife, or the community she was born into had already instilled a rock hard faith within her before she was captured. No matter which way her faith had been inspired, this little girl’s faith is something to be applauded and studied as an example of the possibilities for our youth in the Church today. Children are quick to proclaim their faith boldly, and this is another vital thing we can learn from them.
Lastly, it is quite clear that this task was given to her. This was her purpose. We never hear about her again, yet her role was vital to the success of this story. She was called to play a part in Naaman’s salvation story. Children have the power to bring people to God as well. The Church often discounts the potential of children to have an impact on the Kingdom. Children are not only the future of the Church, but they are also currently the Church. This little girl was a part of Israel; she represented Israel, and because of her faith and courage, she forgave and answered her call to play a part in Naaman’s story. God uses children in the Kingdom, and we should learn to pay attention to the ways that God is at work.
It’s in this child’s selflessness that we see God at work in a mighty way. Sometimes it’s hard to create space to listen and engage with our kids and allow them to speak truth into our lives, but that is what full family discipleship is all about. It’s also important that we take note of the ways in which our kids or others’ kids set an example of bold faithfulness and abundant forgiveness. When we embody a childlike faith, our selflessness, boldness, and creativity allow us to be the conduit of God’s healing in the lives of others.
(The reflection section provides prompts to help you think through what God is teaching you and how it applies to the world around you. Take 3-5 minutes to ponder and respond to each question below. We recommend keeping a journal to write in, so that you can revisit it later.)
What could it look like for you to forgive as readily as the example of the girl in 2 Kings?
In 2 Kings, the little girl saw a need and knew that God is the one who provides for our needs. What could it look like for you to be as bold in your faith as this courageous child?
What could it look like to encourage the spiritual voice of your children in your home or to inspire a cultural shift in your church to more highly value the voices of children and youth?
(This section provides tools and starting points to discuss what you’ve learned and processed through above with your family.)
Pray: “Thank you for the way that you use each of us to effect great change in the world for your Kingdom. Help even the littlest among us to believe that their voice matters, and help us to create space to listen and hear them well every day. We love you, God. Amen.”
Share: Recount the story of the little girl in 2 Kings to your family. Tell them that while she was only given a couple of verses, she was integral to Naaman’s physical healing and spiritual salvation. She was an agent of faith and forgiveness. If you can think of one, share an example of when you have witnessed your children be agents of faith or forgiveness for you.
Wonder: Ask your kids how they might be able to be more like the girl in the 2 Kings story? Wonder together how you might be able to create space in your family for your kids to share their experiences with God.
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