Dangerous words. When expectations doesn’t meet reality what happens?
We expect God to work in a certain way and when He doesn’t, we refuse to accept it. What we thought should happen didn’t work out exactly the way we envisioned it.
Naaman was such a man (2 Kings 5). He was a great general who was a pagan. But he was stricken with leprosy. His future wasn’t bright. Thankfully, his servant girl, a Jew, told him that the prophet Elisha had the power to heal him and he set out at once.
Naaman brought lots of gifts to reward Elijah for the healing. Hope flickered in his eyes. But when he reached, Elisha didn’t even meet him. What an insult! His servant met him and told Naaman to wash in the Jordan river 7 times and he would be healed.
Wasn’t that so simple? Just wash and be cured! What did Naaman do?
But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
2 Kings 5:11-12
Naaman became angry and thought that Elisha would wave his hand. Instead he had to wash in a dirty river. People want a quick fix salvation but there’s only one way – total allegiance to Jesus. Any other way wouldn’t work. Naaman thought wrong. The first lesson is that we can’t paint God into a corner and twist His arm. God tests us in ways we don’t understand and we are to obey fully. His ways and thoughts are beyond our human abilities. He’s the boss.
His servants convinced him to do it because if Elisha had tasked him to do a great task, wouldn’t he have done it? That’s the second lesson. Naaman thought he had to work hard for his cleansing much like the twelve tasks of Hercules! On the contrary, we can never work for our salvation. Jesus has done it all. We have to accept it. Even when it seems so simple. Praise God for His grace for sinners like us.
Okay, so Naaman decides that his servants are right and dips in the river and is cured of his leprosy. You can bet his thinking was turned around at once! He became a God worshipper and even brought back soil to worship the true God. God works in unique ways. This is the third lesson, that only when you obey then you realize God’s commands bring life and healing. If it’s not lived out, your life remains unchanged. Once you act in faith on God’s truths even if it doesn’t make sense, God steps in and does the rest. You’ll never be the same again.