Read 2 Kings 5:1-3,9-14
1 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.
2 Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel,and she served Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress,”If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him,”Go,wash yourself seven times in the Jordan,and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
11 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. 12 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.
13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said,”My father,if the prophet had told you to do some great thing,would you not have done it? How much more,then,when he tells you,’Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times,as the man of God had told him,and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
How badly do we want God’s help-whether it be healing or empowerment for service? Namaan wanted to be healed,but not in the muddy waters of the River Jordan. And not at the dictates of some unknown underling. And what was all this business about seven times? He wanted proper healing by a proper man of God-as befits a man of his station in life. Namaan wanted to be healed,but on his terms. It took his servants to point out that quibbling about detail and maintaining his dignity wouldn’t rid him of his leprosy. So into the muddy Jordan he went and came out clean.
God has used some pretty weird and wacky people to bring healing to others. Sometimes his methods are unusual too. One thing is sure: he dictates the terms. He doesn’t conform to our rules: we conform to his. God chose the means of Namaan’s healing. Namaan didn’t like it,but in the end his desperate need plunged him into the Jordan rather than the classier rivers of his homeland. His desperate need meant he didn’t insist on a personal interview with Elisha,the man of God to whom he had been sent.
We may be tempted to seek God’s help from the glamorous ministries,the well-known individuals. If you are desperate for God’s help,don’t just watch out for the seemingly obvious answers. And when you tell God about your predicament,don’t go on and tell him how to get you out of it. Drowning people don’t choose their rescuers or even their means of rescue. They are too desperate for that. We all need a dose of blessed desperation.