“Some of us may be seven dips away from a major life change, but our pride is keeping us from taking the plunge. Maybe God is doing something in you.”
Have you ever been successful in one area of your life, but utterly defeated in another? In 2 Kings 5, we meet Naaman who had a stellar military career. Soldiers would stand and salute when he passed. But one area in his life was sabotaging his victories. Naaman had leprosy (v. 1).
Leprosy was devastating and highly contagious. It made Naaman feel utterly out of control and defeated. Maybe you’ve felt that way. You have parts of your life where you’ve experienced tremendous success. But there is one area where you feel like a failure.
A young slave girl told Naaman about a prophet in Israel who could heal his disease. Naaman asked the king for permission and resources to venture behind enemy lines in pursuit of healing. The king agreed, and Naaman made his way to Elisha with his troops and splendor (v. 5). The prophet knew Naaman needed more than the healing of his body, he needed the healing of his soul. He gave the respected soldier unsettling instructions. “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan” (v. 10). Naaman had to humble himself, take off his regalia, and obey. Rather than obey, Naaman was enraged (v. 12).
Sometimes God’s answer to our situation is not what we want or expect. In Bible school, I was assigned to preach at a senior citizens home on Chicago’s north side. I pulled out my commentaries and compiled notes: I was ready. But when I showed up at the Fullerton Senior Citizens, 25 percent of the audience was asleep, many even snoring. Next week I went from room to room, praying with people and listening to them. God was teaching me to humble myself, to love and bless people.
Some of us may be seven dips away from a major life change, but our pride is keeping us from taking the plunge. Maybe God is doing something in you. God is giving you exactly what you need, rather than what you wanted.
Naaman finally obeyed Elisha, and ultimately, God Himself. Immediately “his flesh was restored” (v. 14). God worked a miracle for Naaman. But first, he had to obey. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).