My daily Bible reading this morning included this selection from 2 Kings 5. Naaman was the commander of King Aram’s army, but he suffered from leprosy. He was sent to Elisha the prophet to ask for healing.
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: "Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of leprosy."
11 But Naaman became angry and stalked away. "I thought he would surely come out to meet me!" he said. "I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the LORD his God and heal me! 12 Aren’t the Abana River and Pharpar River of Damascus better than all the rivers of Israel put together? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?" So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.
13 But his officers tried to reason with him and said, "Sir, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply to go and wash and be cured!" 14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his flesh became as healthy as a young child’s, and he was healed! (NLT)
This story made me think how often I go to God in prayer, not only asking for something but asking for that prayer to be answered in a very specific way. My way. Like Naaman, I may have a pride issue and not want to go bathe in a river. Or like Peter, I may not want Christ to wash my feet because I think I know a better way.
But God’s ways are not my ways, and when I let go of my expectations and (admit it) demands, I find I am ultimately blessed. Answers to prayers rarely happen the way I think they will, but I can look back at my life and see how faithfully God has answered despite all the times I haven’t wanted to bathe in the river.
In the grip of His grace,