Sunday, September 10, 2023

Simple Instructions

By Lance Cordle
    I occasionally get headaches, and when I do, I sometimes take a pain reliever to combat them. The brand I use has a multipack carton containing the medicine wrapped in a sealed, foil package. Over the years, I have “waged a war” with the packaging, because it has been extremely difficult (for me) to tear open. If I am where scissors are available, I will use the scissors.
    It just so happens that I was recently in need of headache relief and I dreaded going through the frustrating process of opening the foil with no scissors. However, for some reason, the fine print on the package caught my attention. There was a straight line across the top and the words indicated that I was to fold the foil straight along the line and then rip the package from top to bottom. Amazingly, as I followed the instructions, I was able to easily open the package. Sensing that my success might have been a fluke, I waited till I got another headache to test the process. Sure enough, I obeyed the instructions again, following them to a “T,” and it worked!
    Who knew that opening the foil package could be so easy?! I just followed the simple instructions.
    This reminded me of the biblical story of Naaman the leper (found in 2 Kings 5). Naaman was a valiant warrior for his king, however, he carried the dreaded disease of leprosy. Following a recommendation from a young Israelite woman, he sought a cure from the prophet of God, Elisha. After consulting his king, as well as Israel’s king, Naaman came to Elisha’s residence. Instead of going to him and touching him, Elisha sent a messenger with instructions for Naaman to “wash in the Jordan seven times” (2 Kings 5:10). Instead of obeying the words of the prophet, Naaman expressed his displeasure with Elisha. That displeasure came about because he did not like the part about the washing in the Jordan River—located in enemy territory and possibly seen to be “dirty” by Naaman. He voiced his disappointment in front of his servants, who promptly gave him words of wisdom: “My father, it is a great word the prophet has said to you; will you not do it? . . . So he went and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan River . . . and his skin was restored like the flesh of a child” (2 Kings 5:13-14).
    The instructions may be simple, but sometimes, through our stubbornness, we make things difficult. Jesus asked, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46). That is a good question!

- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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