This chapter of 2 Kings starts off with a stellar introduction for a guy named Naaman. He’s pretty much got it made except for one small detail, he has leprosy. Usually, having leprosy would make you an outcast from society, but not even a disease could stop what God wanted to do through him.
The very first verse tells us that Naaman, despite his sickness, was revered by all because the Lord showed him favor in battle. God was not confined by Naaman’s circumstances, but that doesn’t mean Naaman was going to pass down an opportunity for healing.
When he finds out there’s a prophet who can heal him, he chases after it. He goes to the King, then expects a grand gesture that will heal him. Instead, he gets redirected to Elisha and has to wash himself in the Jordan River seven times. He is then disappointed with God’s preferred healing method.
He wanted a laying of hands and a speech, but instead, he got a bath. After Naaman obeyed and went to the river, he was healed and then worshiped the One who healed him.
God didn’t need a grand gesture to earn Naaman’s trust and he didn’t require a reward, either.
Naaman came prepared with a gift for receiving healing, but Elisha showed him that God gives to us freely, expecting nothing in return. In this, we see that we have freedom to invite God into our circumstances without having to earn his favor or attention. All we have to do is ask and obey.
Often times, we expect God to move on our terms. We ask for more abundance, physical healing, or clarity about a decision; and then, we wait expectantly for God to write our answer in the sky.
How often do we find ourselves frustrated when God doesn’t answer us in the way we want him to? Because our God is an intimate God, he usually moves in the ordinary parts of our lives, like through a word from a friend, medication, or in Naaman’s case, a bath in a river. When we ask God to perform miracles on our terms, we miss out on seeing His heart for our circumstances and his heart for us.
If the King had been involved in healing Naaman, he might have missed out on seeing that only God can heal or he might have worshiped the King instead of God. It’s in the ordinary, quiet moments that God gets our attention and we come to know him better.
What are things in your life that you want to see God do? Take time to invite him into those circumstances, giving him free range to respond how he sees fit. Has there been a time when God answered you in a way you didn’t expect that left you disappointed? If so, bring that to him and ask him to help you see that his ways are always best.
Spend time thanking God that his ways are better than yours and then surrender in area of your life where you’ve tried to get what you want on your own terms. Invite God into your circumstances that feel hopeless or ones that leave you heavy-hearted and ask him to move on his terms. I pray that you see how much he cares about every detail of your life, and that you experience how personal he is when it comes to bringing you into wholeness.
Author | Emily Baker