“Naaman delivered the letter to the king of Israel. The letter read, ‘When you get this letter, you’ll know that I’ve personally sent my servant Naaman to you; heal him of his skin disease.’
When the king of Israel read the letter, he was terribly upset, ripping his robe to pieces. He said, ‘Am I a god with the power to bring death or life that I get orders to heal this man from his disease? What’s going on here? That king’s trying to pick a fight, that’s what!’
Elisha the man of God heard what had happened, that the king of Israel was so distressed that he’d ripped his robe to shreds. He sent word to the king, ‘Why are you so upset, ripping your robe like this? Send him to me so he’ll learn that there’s a prophet in Israel.’
So Naaman with his horses and chariots arrived in style and stopped at Elisha’s door. Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: ‘Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. Your skin will be healed and you’ll be as good as new.’
Naaman lost his temper. He turned on his heel saying, ‘I thought he’d personally come out and meet me, call on the name of God, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana and Pharpar, are cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not bathe in them? I’d at least get clean.’ He stomped off, mad as a hornet. But his servants caught up with him and said, ‘Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?’
So he did it. He went down and immersed himself in the Jordan seven times, following the orders of the Holy Man. His skin was healed; it was like the skin of a little baby. He was as good as new.” 2 Kings 5:6-14 (MSG)
Our expectations can impact our experience. When we go to a restaurant, we expect to get our food in a timely manner. We expect to order, wait, and receive our food from the server. But, what if we order, wait, and the whole restaurant starts a loud parade through the middle of the restaurant to specifically deliver the food to our table? We still received the same result. We just weren’t expecting the method of delivery.
The King of Aram sent a general in his army, Naaman, to the King of Israel, because Naaman had a skin disease. There had been an Israelite girl who had been captured and became the servant to Naaman’s wife. She told the story of the prophet, Elisha in Israel. With the hope of a miracle, Naaman set off to visit the King of Israel. This skin disease would have impacted every part of Naaman’s life. It would have been difficult to fulfill his job and family responsibilities. The King of Israel did not know what to do with Naaman, so he sent Naaman to the prophet, Elisha. When Naaman thought Elisha could heal him of his leprosy, he took lavish gifts and arrived in style. Yet, he faced an unexpected surprise. When he arrived, Elisha did not even meet him. He delivered instructions to Naaman through a servant. As a result of the approach, Naaman was irate. How dare the prophet disregard a respected General in the King of Aram’s army! Naaman had specific expectations for the method of the miracle. He wanted to do it his way; he was used to being the one in authority giving orders. But, God was using Elisha to strategically work in Naaman’s life. If Naaman was too proud to be humbled by going to the Jordan, then he was going to miss God’s miracle. After some convincing by his entourage, Naaman went to the Jordan River and received what he asked for in an unexpected way. The miracle happened while Naaman was in motion.
Many times we ask God for help, but we don’t want to move. We want the answer on our timetable in the way we expect it. We can’t always understand the way God works. But, more often than not, He allows us to be part of the miracle. Nevertheless, it is still a miracle. If Naaman refused to follow God’s instructions, he would have missed it. What if God asks you to go immerse yourself in the Jordan? Would you be willing to do it? Maybe God is not asking you to immerse yourself in the Jordan River, but maybe He is asking you to give in a special offering even though you don’t know if God will provide. Is God asking you to reach out and get counseling to save your marriage? The list could be endless. There are many things that we are willing to do to receive an answer from God, but we can quantify some things as off limits. If a miracle is going to come to us while we are in motion, we have to start being obedient to God’s direction. I don’t want to miss a miracle that God is wanting to bring into my life because of my pride. We can stand at the doorway of a breakthrough and turn around and miss it because it costs us something.
The thing is that I usually want God to work in my situation exactly how I expect. But, don’t miss the answer wrapped in a different package. You might need more money to pay your bills. So, instead of a check arriving in your mailbox, He sends you more opportunities for work. Could He have worked either way? Absolutely. But in the process of trusting His way, we begin to realize that God is growing something deep within our hearts through answered prayers. Instead of sitting back, allow God to use you in the miracle that He wants to bring into your life. Many times, God is waiting for us to start moving.
Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.