Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why should I?

Once upon a time there was a great and valiant soldier who was highly regarded by the king (2 Kings ch.5).  But although Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy.  One day his slave girl said, "If my master would go see the prophet in Samaria, he would heal him of his leprosy."  So Naaman left his home carrying gold, silver, and clothing to offer in exchange for his healing.  He arrived at the prophet Elisha's door with his impressive entourage of horses and chariots and Elisha didn't even bother to come outside.  Instead, he sent a servant to tell the great commander, "Go wash in the Jordan river seven times and your flesh will be restored." Naaman was offended and went off in a rage, "I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!  I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me!  Why should I dip in the Jordan river?  Aren't the rivers of Damascus, Abana, and Pharpar better than any of the rivers of Israel?  Why can't I wash in them?"

"I thought ... !"
"I expected ... !"
"Why should I ... ?"
Have you ever said those words to God?  I have.
"I thought things would be different!"
"I expected you to fix this!"
"Why should I have to do this?"

God does not act in ways we "think" or "expect".  He doesn't do things the way we think he "should".
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways", declares the Lord." As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
We can't understand his ways.  We must be like Naaman and obey even when it doesn't make sense to us.  Instead of waiting for God to tell us what we want to hear, we need to act on what he has already said.

Naaman's officers told him, "Sir, if the prophet had asked you to do something very difficult wouldn't you have done it?  So you should certainly obey him when he tells you to do something simple like 'wash and be cured'."  So Naaman humbled himself and did what Elisha had told him to do and he was healed.

We need to stop shaking our fists at God and saying, "I thought...! I expected...! You should...!"  We can't understand, but we can choose to trust and obey.


Laura said...

I love your posts based on your readings in 2 Kings. I have always loved the story of Naaman and the great illustrations it provides-but I think you nailed it perfectly. I fell in love with the Old Testament on my last journey through the Bible in a year-to the point that I was almost disappointed to start the NT, but thankfully the NT did not disappoint either. Thank you for your insight-it has blessed me this week. Look forward to visiting your blog more often.

In Him,
Laura Robertson

Monica Kilhoffer said...

Oh my goodness, you cannot believe how I needed to hear this at this very moment! I am sitting in my house waiting for a phone call from the doctor to give us the results from Court's latest MRI. His last MRI was showing some change in his brain tumor. Today's results will determine if he is to start radiation and chemo treatment. Everything you said could have come straight from my heart. Thank you so much for sharing yours. Monica Kilhoffer (formerly Mrs. Haygarth from D.D. Kirkland)