God Will Answer His Way
II Kings 5:1-14 Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master….He was also a…leper….Then Naaman went…and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house [to receive his healing]. 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.” 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.’ 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.
Naaman’s story is almost funny, except that his error is so very common. Being a “great man” as the world defines it, he was expecting a certain degree of deference to be given him. He also, likely in his pride, had his own ideas about how his healing would come: the great prophet would come out to meet him, “do his thing,” and then he would be healed. Naaman’s one good move was coming to the prophet’s house. Everything else was pride and presumption. The living God really had no place in his thinking, much less his heart.
The real heroes of the story are Naaman’s servants, who used simple common sense and logic to get past their master’s pride. They offered clarity, and happily for Naaman, he listened to them. He had to humble himself a few times over in the process: the great prophet didn’t come out to him, a messenger came instead, and he was asked to wash in a foreign river. As he humbled himself before the Lord, Elisha and his servants, he was healed.
Naaman wanted a healing. God wanted to give him the healing, but was up to more than that. He wanted Naaman to know not just His power to heal, but Who He was. Revelation attended obedience, and Naaman came to understand. When he returned to Elisha, he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel….” His body was healed, and his mind and spirit came alive.
How often we have preconceptions about how God is going to do something! Like Naaman, we take a step of faith (he came to Elisha, we begin to pray). But then our pride and our own thinking take over, and we begin to look for God to give us the answer in a way we expect, and therefore miss His word. We may have to humble ourselves greatly to receive what God wants to give us. We may need to listen to people we don’t pay much attention to, saying things that are easy to dismiss, or that seem ridiculous at first glance. But perhaps, as with Naaman, God has something greater than our request in mind, and has more for us than we could imagine.
Prayer: Father, help me to see and hear Your answers when they come to me. Forgive me for the times I’ve dismissed Your words to me because they didn’t meet my expectations or made sense to me. Thank You for the grace to humble myself enough to receive all You have to give to me.