Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. (NIV)
Everyone of us has a “but” in our lives. The respected academic struggles with an alcohol addiction. The cheerful bride wonders if her memories of abuse in her childhood will sabotage her marriage. The wealthy retiree tours the world at will and in luxury, all the time haunted by his son’s repeated suicide attempts. The much sought-after counsellor goes home from her office each day to a sterile and frozen marriage.
The main character in our text today also had a “but”. Naaman was a great man, a brave man. He had status and wealth. He also had leprosy. Which in those days was an incurable and apparently contagious disease. Later in the story he does get healed, but for now he is not what he wants to be.
We need to recognise the “buts” in our own lives. The things that cause us to limp and not run. The things that flood our memories causing us sleepless nights. The things that have a clammy hold on us that we just can’t shake off.
Admittedly, there are some things in life which go on affecting us: we live in an East of Eden world after all. And yet there may be opportunities to have the “but” removed. We do live with limitations in this life, which doesn’t mean we don’t seek help.
And one other thing: be aware that everyone else you encounter this or any day has a “but” in their lives. Greater awareness may yet lead to greater love.