Thursday, June 4, 2015

What Do You Have To Lose?

Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. . . So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? - II Kings 5:1,9-13

We can boil the story down like this:  Naaman was a leper and sought out the prophet Elisha in hopes of being healed.  But when Elisha told Naaman what was required, the leper grew angry because it wasn't what he had expected.  First off, he expected Elisha to speak to him directly, not some lowly servant.  Second, he expected some power-packed, call-down-fire-from-Heaven healing service to take place, not a bath in what was possibly one of the muddiest rivers around.  Thirdly, he was offended that the prophet would even suggest that a man of his high standing swim about in the nasty Jordan instead of the rivers of his own land.  Picky, huh?

Unfortunately, we're no different.  We want God to do a work in our lives.  We long for a miracle, but like Naaman, we want it on our terms.  We have it all figured out.  We know how exactly how God should work out our problems, but when He chooses to do things His own way instead of ours, don't we react the same way Naaman did?  We get angry.  We're offended that God wouldn't take our plans into consideration.  We fuss and fight about the very thing that God asks us to do to achieve our miracle.

Fortunately for Naaman, his servants weren't so quick to give up.  Underneath Naaman's pride, they could see his suffering, so they persuaded him to give the "remedy" a chance.  "If the prophet had sent you on a long quest or asked you to do some grand thing, you would have done it, right?  So why can't you do this little thing that he's asked of you?  Is it really that big a deal?  What do you have to lose?"

Really, what did he have to lose?  So, he got a little dirty.  Wasn't it worth it if he could finally be healed of his leprosy?  Dirt would wash off.  Leprosy wouldn't. . . or would it?

Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. (vs. 14)

How about that?  God's plan worked.  Only God could wash away leprosy with the muddy waters of Jordan.  No, it didn't make sense to Naaman, but it didn't have to.  Naaman didn't have to understand; he only had to obey.  And when he did, he was healed.  I'd say he learned a very powerful lesson that day.  So how about us?

Perhaps God has already given you a task to do, but you don't understand.  It doesn't fit within your plans or expectations, and for the life of you, you can't figure out how God can work a miracle through such an odd command.  I ask you the same question the servants asked Naaman:  what do you have to lose?  It won't cost much to obey, but it could cost you your miracle if you don't.  Isn't it worth the risk?  Stop trying to figure it out.  Stop trying to understand.  Just obey.  Do whatever it is that God has told you to do, and leave the results up to Him.  He won't let you down.

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