Naaman was an army captain and a mighty man of valor who had leprosy. When he heard that there was a prophet in Israel who could heal him, he made a trip to go see the prophet whose name was Elisha.
Upon arrival, Naaman was met by Elisha's servant who told him to go wash in the Jordan river seven times and he would be cleansed from his leprosy. Pretty straight forward, right?
Jordan River + Wash 7 Times = Healing.
No therapy, no change in diet, no follow up visits. Sounds like real health care reform! Here's Naaman's reaction...
But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. (2 Kings 5:11-12)
Leprosy is an infectious disease, characterized by disfiguring skin sores, nerve damage, and progressive debilitation. It's not a “take two aspirin and call the doctor in the morning” kind of condition. In ancient days, it was incurable. Naaman's reaction to how he could be healed was puzzling even to the men who were with him...
And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? (2 Kings 5:13)
Naaman eventually listened to his servants, did what he was told and was healed. I believe Naaman's story speaks to us today in a variety of ways.
The Bible tells us many times that God's ways are not our ways. He does things for reasons that defy our understanding. His will is often times at odds with our own will and preferences. How often was Jesus Christ misunderstood even by his own disciples? Nearly everyday! Consider these scriptures...
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1:11)
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
(1 Corinthians 1:27)
I've come to the conclusion that God is okay with me not always understanding His ways. Sometimes understanding comes by obedience. Remember Samuel's admonishment to King Saul, Obedience is better than sacrifice... ? Walking by faith is often accompanied with uneasiness at first. I'm sure Abraham scratched his head more than once while climbing the mountain to sacrifice his promised son Isaac. But we know that story had a happy ending.
I look at Naaman and marvel. He was willing to refuse his own healing because God didn't meet his expectations. I shake my head...until I consider my own ways.
How often have I rejected life changing blessings because I was unwilling to do the simple things God was asking of me? How often have I complained, “The Jordan is dirty! These other rivers (my ways) are cleaner and better.” And you know what? I might be 100% right... but do I want to be "right" or do I want to be healed? The healing is in the Jordan River (God's ways). I'll just get wet doing things my way and remain unhealed. Now that's a box of stupid!
Folks, if we're requiring God to live up to our standards, we are going to miss him. He will take his blessings that could have been ours and will visit the humble, the open and the willing. He will perform wonders to those who have that childlike faith and an obedient heart to submit to his every word.
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him... (2 Chronicles 16:9)
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