His name was Naaman. He was a mighty warrior, commander-in-chief of the Syrian army. He was a man who had experienced many victories and was well admired by military officials and troops. Although he devised strategies and fought fearlessly to protect and save others, Naaman had a condition of which he himself needed saving…leprosy. One day, Naaman was permitted to go before the prophet to be healed but the King of Israel refused the King of Syria’s request. In spite of the refusal, Elisha, the prophet in Israel, sent for Naaman. Elisha sent his messenger to Naaman with these instructions, “Go and wash in the Jordan River seven times and be healed of every trace of leprosy!”
A simple solution.
I love this story in 2 Kings 5. So often we think God’s answers to our questions will be “deep,” but I have learned most times, his solutions are simple. Love, forgive, obey, follow. These are all answers we have been given, yet our response can sometimes be like that of Naaman. You see, Naaman was furious. He expected more. He had conjured in his mind what this experience would be like and when it did not happen the way he expected, he angrily walked away…still having leprosy!
We shake our heads and think, “How ridiculous,” but when God tells us to love in spite of the way we have been treated or to forgive someone who maliciously wronged us, we hesitate to act on His command.
As I looked at different translations of this story, two words resonated with me: thought and expected. Naaman said, “I thought at least he (Elisha) would come out and talk to me! I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call upon the name of the Lord his God and heal me!” Accept, right now, that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts nor are His ways or ways. Also, there is nothing wrong with waiting in expectancy for God to move on our behalf, but expecting Him to do it in a manner that we can fathom is almost comical.
Whether we heed the simplicity of God’s words can greatly affect our lives either positively or negatively. Praise God Naaman had a sensible circle of friends who encouraged him to obey the messenger’s instructions (Side note: Having the right circle of friends is another blog for another time!) Not only was Naaman healed but through the experience, he came to know the one true God!
Has God given you a simple solution that you have neglected because of its simplicity? If so, do it now and begin to experience a new life in Him.