There was a great military commander
of the Syrian nation
known for his valor and might.
Though it says not how he became so,
he was diseased with leprosy
and no known cure was available to him.
An Israeli girl, captive from battle,
had become his wife's servant.
When she learned of his illness
she spoke of the man of God, Elisha.
She told of his prophecies...
she believed if the commander
would go see him, he could be healed.
This commander, Naaman asked his king
for permission to seek the prophet.
Receiving answer to his request,
he left to seek out Elisha.
Upon finding him, Naaman stood
at the prophet's door and waited.
And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying,
“Go and wash in the Jordan seven times,
and your flesh shall be restored to you,
and you shall be clean.”
Now while Elisha did not come out
to meet with the commander,
his words spoken and instructions given
were simple enough.
All that they required
were participation... and faith
by the one to be healed.
Much like the miracles
in Jesus time.
For Elisha was calling upon
the same God as Healer
in the Old Testament
as we know Jesus to be in the New.
But Naaman became furious,
and went away and said,
“Indeed, I said to myself,
‘He will surely come out to me,
and stand and call
on the name of the Lord his God,
and wave his hand over the place,
and heal the leprosy....'
So he turned and went away in a rage.
2 Kings 5:10-12 NKJV
Unfortunately, Naaman expected more.
He came by chariot, most likely
in full uniform, ready to impress.
I can only assume that he had traveled
quite a long distance.
And during that time,
his mind may have conjured up
some grand plan on how he would be healed.
But when Elisha gave simple instructions
through a messenger at the door
it just didn't satisfy his expectations.
But God's ways are simply not our ways.
And sometimes we want to make things
much too complicated.
We want a big and impressive show
for our miracle, filling us with the pride
we deserve for coming all this way...
I mean, we sought him out,
we had this faith,
we decided upon all this..
But God often wants to show us
that grace is a much simpler gift to receive.
If we will only accept it in faith and believe.
Fortunately, Naaman had a few servants
who stopped him from storming off...
And his servants came near
and spoke to him, and said,
“My father, if the prophet had told you
to do something great,
would you not have done it?
How much more then, when he says to you,
‘Wash, and be clean’?”
So he went down and dipped
seven times in the Jordan,
according to the saying of the man of God;
and his flesh was restored
like the flesh of a little child,
and he was clean.
2 Kings 4:13-14
And Naaman returned to Elisha
and acknowledged the power of healing
that came from God.
Seven times he washed in the water.
Surely God could have healed him
with just one.
But maybe Naaman needed a bit more.
More time to think,
more time to feel the water upon his skin,
more time to relax into the rhythim,
more time to realize that this
wasn't about him,
that this wasn't his doing, or his idea.
The he commander was used to
giving commands.... being in charge.
And people listened.
He seldom stopped to take time
to be a listener, a receiver, himself.
Until that day he let the water wash over him
that fifth, that sixth
and then seventh time.
He listened to the water trickling down,
God had allowed the Israeli girl
captive in his home.
God had given permission from the king
for him to find Elisha.
God has led him here to this river to be clean.
And God had slowed him down,
pointed out his pride,
healed him of so much more
than just this skin disease.
And he returned to the man of God,
he and all his aides,
and came and stood before him;
and he said, “Indeed, now I know
that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel; now therefore,
please take a gift from your servant.”
2 Kings 5:15
But Elisha would not accept it.
For this was simply part of this calling
To point people in the right direction
and watch their hearts turn toward Him.
God would take care of Elisha
in many other ways.
How grateful I am,
that I have friends like Naaman,
who remind me when I need to listen.
Friends who turn me back,
away from my prideful self
into the grace of God.
For sometimes I make my faith
too complicated and I set
my expectations too high.
Sometimes I get this crazy notion
that I bubbled up this faith inside of me
and came running to God with it.
When He was the one who created me
with a need so deep inside
that only He could fill it.
And then He pursued me
until I had no where else to turn.
And He placed this faith in me...
a gift, a blessing of His grand design.
This grace of God
is simple and free.
It only requires we accept it.
Let us not over think it.
Word of God,
train me, today...
to not to let the pride of my heart
miss the miracles You have for me,
to accept the simple grace You offer,
rather than complicating it with my expectations,
no good thing
inside of me
exists outside of You.
for placing in me
the faith to pursue You.
for pursuing me first,
for loving first,
for chasing me
and never letting me go.
for healing all
the brokenness in me.
for being patient with me,
turning me around,
washing me over
and over again.
Never let me go.
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