The Bible includes the story of Naaman, an Aramean army commander, who has leprosy (at the time, a contagious skin disease).
His Jewish servant girl suggests that he go and see Elisha, in Israel, to be healed. Naaman eagerly goes, but feels slighted by Elisha, who doesn’t even bother to greet his powerful visitor, instead sending a servant with the simple message to wash seven times in the river to be healed.
Naaman is not used to being treated that way; he storms off in a huff. He wanted attention. Instead he expected that a grand and glorious display of power would be given to bring about his healing. Fortunately, the cooler head of another of his servants prevails, essentially saying, “Don’t be proud; you have nothing to lose.”
Naaman agrees. He performs the humble task of washing himself in the river—and God heals him!
Sometimes when we ask for God’s help, we expect one thing, but he provides an unexpected response. What do we do then, stomp off in a huff or dutifully follow instructions? In Naaman’s case, he had to humble himself before receiving God’s reward; we should not be surprised when we must do the same.
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