Have you ever went through a season or situation desperate for the Lord to show up or speak to you in a big way and perform big miracles on your behalf? But when He showed up, it didn’t happen at all like you expected or perhaps hoped it would. How did you respond? Were you quick to accept his goodness, or like me (too often) did you question His ways and His abilities?
As I read 2 Kings 5:10-12, I couldn’t help but see myself in the story of Naaman:
Then Elisha sent him a messenger, who said, “Go wash seven times in the Jordan and your skin will be restored, and you will be clean.” But Naaman got angry and left, saying, “I was telling myself: He will surely come out, stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the skin disease. Aren’t Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and left in a rage.
So here we see God’s willingness to heal Naaman, but rather than rejoicing, he runs away angry. When I first read this, I thought, “What in the world is Naaman’s problem?” God’s not just willing to heal him, He makes is crazy simple. I mean, how much easier can you get than dipping in a river? But then I remembered verse one: Naaman, commander of the army for the king of Aram, was a man important to his master and highly regarded because through him, the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man was a valiant warrior, but he had a skin disease.
Naaman was an influential man, a warrior, and highly regarded. I wonder if his importance or feeling of influence had a little something to do with how he responded to God’s odd answer for healing. Was it pride that caused him to question God? Or perhaps he thought his way was better. Whatever the issue Naaman was having, I can relate. It seems so often I’m all for God’s word over my life until it starts looking a little crazy. I love when He speaks and when He’s working in and through me, but I don’t want it to get too crazy or uncomfortable.
I don’t know why God told Naaman to dip seven times in a muddy river. My guess is because He wanted people to know it was only possible through Him, the one true God! (Who else can heal skin disease and blind eyes with mud?) And I believe He wants to do the same through us. Sometimes the odd things, the uncomfortable conditions, the impossible things aren’t about us at all; they are to point others to the one true God!
About a year ago, God gave me a vision that is so much bigger than myself, and to be honest I’ve questioned it more times than not. It seems impossible and a bit crazy, but as uncomfortable as it may be, I am choosing to dip in the river. I’m not going to run away because it seems insane; instead, I’m going to run ahead believing that God is going to do what He says He will do! And I encourage you to do the same! Whatever word He’s spoken to you, whatever situation He’s speaking into, I encourage you to put pride, control, and fear aside, and dive into the river!