But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
“Mom, I can’t do this!” I cried.
“Yes, you can my son. I know it’s hard, but stick with it. The payout will be worth the effort.”
It wasn’t the news I wanted to hear, but I followed her advice and didn’t quit.
At 14 years old, I was hired for my first job. I was the groundskeeper for a dental office.
Every Saturday I had to go mow the lawn, trim the edges, spray and pull weeds, pick up sticks, and rake leaves.
My first working Saturday was at the beginning of my summer vacation in June. It was over 90ºF (32º C). It was the first day of hard work I’d ever had to do alone, and I was not happy!
After four hours in the heat, my mom brought me lunch. She asked how it was going. Dejected, I was less than halfway done! It seemed like I would probably never finish.
“Can I quit? They can hire someone else to do this!”
Despite my protest, my parents didn’t let me quit. They encouraged me to press on and keep working hard.
At the end of the summer I had made quite the fortune for a 14 year old, a little more than $1,000!
What once was taking me 8 or 9 hours of foot-dragging labor was now only taking me 3 to 5 hours depending on the days’ temperature.
That summer helped form me into who I am today and taught me a very valuable lesson about perseverance and payout.
The catalyst? My mother’s encouragement.
Naaman didn’t like what he had been told by the prophet’s messenger and was about to turn around and head home.
But his servants intervened.
They encouraged him to follow the prophets’ instructions.
Naaman succumbed to their prodding, and did as the prophet said.
The result is that his leprosy was completely removed from his body! A complete transformation. A miracle.
The catalyst in this instance? The servant’s encouragement.
As the groundskeeper, I worked hard and my payoff was completely worth it! It was all due to my mother’s encouragement to continue working.
Naaman followed the prophet’s instruction despite his emotion and his leprosy was cleansed from his body. Again, this is due to the encouragement of an outside source.
Challenge yourself to encourage someone today. They’re going through struggles you may never know about, but perhaps you can be the hands, feet, and mouthpiece of Jesus to them.
Naaman’s healing was brought about by his obedience. If he hadn’t been encouraged, I suspect Naaman may have died a leper, having never followed the prophet’s instructions.
Be the church, be an encouragement to those around you, and if you need it yourself: be like Naaman and accept the gentle instruction and encouragement of your peers.
Encouragement changed the whole course of Naaman’s life, and perhaps it can do the same for you and your community.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV
Today’s author, Brandon Loftis, is the blog manager for Short Daily Devotions. He lives in Bismarck, North Dakota with his lovely wife Sambrea. Brandon runs the ND service department for a thriving construction company in the midwest,Rapid Fire Protection, Inc.