Naaman was an important man. He was head of the army of one of the major world powers. The Bible tells us that God had used him to win great victories for his king, the king of Syria.
Naaman was brave. Naaman was influential. Naaman was very, very sick.
He had what the Bible calls leprosy. This can mean any of a number of skin conditions, not just Hansen's disease (the scientific name for modern leprosy).
Leprosy was taken very seriously. It was thought to be extremely contagious. Because of this, people with leprosy lived isolated lives, cut off from the rest of society. For a public figure, this was especially tragic.
Then someone told Naaman that there was a prophet named Elisha who could cure him of his illness. Naaman traveled to the land of Israel to find this prophet and seek to be healed.
When Naaman arrived at Elisha's house, the prophet didn't come out to greet his visitor. Instead, he sent a servant to inform Naaman that he was to submerge himself seven times in the Jordan River in order to be healed.
Naaman was outraged! Not only had the prophet not received him personally, but the holy man had the gall to suggest that Naaman dirty himself in the filthy waters of Israel. If Naaman needed a bath, he could use one of Syria's mighty rivers.
Servants convinced the military man that he had nothing to lose by trying what the prophet had told him. Naaman swallowed his pride and went to the Jordan. He went down one time, two times, three times... and when he came up the seventh time, his skin was clear. He was healed! (You can read the whole story in the fifth chapter of 2 Kings)
I'm like Naaman at times. God wants me to do what? He wants me to go where? That doesn't even make sense!
God's instructions don't always make sense. Love my enemies? Don't worry about tomorrow? Eat bread and drink wine to remember His Son? Submerge myself in water in order to be cleansed?
At some point, we have to decide who is going to rule our lives. Will it be God? Or will it be common sense? Will God tell me what's right and wrong? Or will logic be my guide?
Am I willing to have faith that God is good enough, wise enough and powerful enough to do what's best for me?
Today I want to encourage you to trust God, to build your life around Him, even when you can't understand every detail of what is going on. Follow God, even when He doesn't make sense.
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