I’ve Got a Better Idea
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 137:1-8 | 2 Kings 4:18-5:27 | Acts 15:1-35 | Proverbs 17:22
Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Kings 4:18-5:27
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.” 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” (2 Kings 5:10-11 NIV).
Naaman was a valiant warrior, but he was also a leper. Urged by his wife’s helper, he set off to find healing from the healing prophet whose reputation for doing extraordinary miracles was already becoming well established: Elisha.
Journeying to Elisha’s door, he is directed by Elisha’s servant: “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” Naaman was hoping for something different—something that seemed more “prophet-like.”
Angered by the suggestion of Elisha’s servant, he sketches out a scenario more to his liking: “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” (5:11).
And more than that, if he needed to wash in a river, why not one more to his liking? He continues: “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?” (5:12). Naaman’s healing required humble submission to the simple acts of obedience prescribed by God through his prophet Elisha. When he stopped negotiating and started obeying, God answered and brought the miracle he desired.
Often the answer to our prayers requires an act of obedience. The miracle we seek depends on following through on the revealed will of God. We suggest alternate scenarios. We try to set the conditions for obedience. We want the miracle—the answer—but we want to dictate the steps it takes to get there.
The answer comes as we humbly submit to the acts of obedience that the Lord sets out in front of us. Often the path we have been seeking opens when we follow through on that one thing God has asked us to do but that we are resisting. Do it—stop resisting, complaining, or trying to dictate alternate scenarios—follow through and see the miracle God brings.
Lord, help me follow. I am reminded that my attempts to dictate the conditions of my miracle and resist your clear instructions only lead to trouble and failure. Help me to follow without question. As I take steps of obedience, open the way before me. Amen.