"11 Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.' 12 Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?" Could I not wash in them and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage." (2 Kings 5:11-12)
Have you ever had an expectation or an idea in your mind about how something was supposed to happen? Maybe you planned to have the perfect wedding day and you started the day with great expectations. However, it seemed like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Or maybe you expected to have a quiet day at work, but the moment you walked into the office, the phone was ringing with your valued customer angry about an order that wasn't filled properly. Well, Naaman had one of those kinds of days. It may not have been what he expected, but it was exactly what he needed.
Naaman was the captain of the army for the king of Aram (Syria). He was a great man of high social standing and prominence. He was highly regarded by the king of Syria and he was considered a valiant warrior. However, he suffered from the skin disease leprosy. Unfortunately for Naaman, there was no cure for leprosy in his day. His Israeli servant girl suggested that if Naaman could meet with the prophet Elisha, he would be healed. For his servant girl knew the miracles that God performed through Elisha.
Naaman traveled to meet with Elisha. When Naaman arrived at Elisha's house with all of his horses and chariots, Elisha sent his servant to meet Naaman at the doorway. Elisha's servant relayed the message for Naaman to go and wash in the Jordan seven times and he will be cleansed of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:10). Naaman was outraged!
First, Elisha didn't even greet him in person. Second, Naaman expected Elisha to call on the name of the Lord his God and wave his hand over Naaman to cure him (2 Kings 5:11). Third, he asked him to wash in the Jordan River! Naaman knew the Abanah and Pharpar rivers in Syria his homeland were clearer than muddy waters of the Jordan (2 Kings 5:12). Naaman indicated to his servant that if he wanted to be clean, he could bathe in one of these two rivers instead. However, his servants talked Naaman into listening to Elisha and Naaman went into the Jordan River and dipped seven times. After Naaman dipped seven times his skin was restored like the skin of a little child! How amazing!
We have to understand that God is infinitely better than anything we can imagine. It says in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Be comforted knowing that our God has a plan and purpose for your life and His ways are higher and better than our ways. There are some things that happen in our life that we will never understand why they happen or how that is part of God’s plan. There are going to be times when we encounter the unexpected but we need to know that it may be exactly what we need.
Even Jesus’ disciples encountered the unexpected when they didn’t understand that Jesus needed to go to the cross. In fact, Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him, saying “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (Matt 16:22) Jesus turned to Peter and said “Get behind me Satan!” and told Peter that he was not mindful of the ways of God.
You see no one expected the Messiah to be crucified but that is the only thing that could bring us back to God. Let us not complain about the circumstances that we find ourselves in, but rather know that God is using that circumstance for His glory!
Fellow Bond Servant in Christ – Daryl Kas