2 Kings 2:1-15a (I have to do what?)
This week's text is about Naaman, who is the army commander of the king of Aram. He is a great warrior and has won many battles for the king. One other thing we learn about Naaman is that he has leprosy. Interesting isn't that somebody who needs to be strong physically is dealing with a disease that affects him physically and probably affects his ability to fight. Leprosy also had a stigma in the ancient world that lead to people being shunned as well. So in some sense Naaman has a ticking clock around his neck. As soon as he isn't able to fight, he will be replaced and probably thrown out to the edges of society. It is probably no wonder that he wants to explore any treatment option possible. So when he hears about this prophet in Israel that can cure him, I bet he made sure to move heaven and earth until he could get there. We see this in the text because he offers the king of Israel a treasure trove for this potential. Elisha answers the call and tells Naaman to simply wash himself in the river Jordan. Naaman explodes, at this simple request. He had expected some great trial that would be worthy of his fighting prowess and his physical skill. He had to do something to earn this cure, right? Wrong, the cure wasn't about him earning it. The cure wasn't about what he could do, instead the cure was God's doing and on God's terms.
Isn't this the way though we think about God in our lives? We feel we need to earn stuff so that God will come through in the clutch. However what if God worked another way? What if it wasn't about our efforts and skills but instead it was based on God and God's plan. Scary isn't it, because it shows us that we are not in control. What if we took the time every day, in prayer to ask God what God wants us to do? What if we took the time each day and sought God's will by reading the Bible? Would our stress levels go down, because we didn't worry so much about how we needed to earn God's favor? Would our lives have more meaning because we actually had to talk to God and listen for what God was speaking into our lives? Take some time right now, in prayer and tell God what is on your heart and then take about five minutes and listen. Breath slowly and listen. What is God saying to you?
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Pastor Paul. I hope you find these reflections insightful and help you in your faith journey!