Elisha the prophet was a very busy man. God’s miraculous powers shown through him and we catch a glimpse of healings that rival any of the accounts in the New Testament. A woman prayed for a child and received a son. The son died, and the mother returned to Elisha and through her grief poured her heart out to the prophet. He heard the woman’s cry and with the power of God, raised her son from the dead.
And let us not forget poor Naaman. He possessed everything he ever wanted. He led and commanded the king’s army garnering prestige and a place high in the ranks of the most trusted of leaders of his day. With all of this success, Naaman contracted leprosy, the very disease that could throw him out of favor with everyone. Once announced unclean, he would be forced into exile and made to live in a colony with those who suffered from the same disease. All signs of privilege would fade away.
In desperation, he sends a message to Elisha asking for help. The prophet answers his prayers and tells him how to get rid of the disease. Naaman refuses at first, feeling like Elisha was two french-fries shy of his Happy Meal. Why not bathe in fresh water, unlike the Jordan River? Upon further reflection, his anger subsides, and he washes in the Jordan River seven times. God delivers, and Naaman, the brave warrior who just a few minutes ago lost all hope, now was set free. We witness another miracle offered to humanity through the Divine.
Naaman’s story calls to me because I am afraid that my choices sometimes reflect the struggle that the brave commander faced. He heard how to be healed, but had trouble following the way of Holy Guidance. Wash in the Jordan seven times, that’s it. Then if it is so easy, why do we resist? Why, when confronted with difficulty do we refuse God’s help?
Perhaps the noise in our heads stands in the way of God’s voice. Maybe Naaman needed to block out the chaos in his mind, and surrender to the leadership of God. We can all learn from this example. Give up the struggle, let go of the chaos, and follow the One, who delivers you.
May you be filled with grace as you listen for directions. Wait for the still small voice of God to guide us on our journey. Hear it, embrace it, and follow it. We will be surprised at what the Holy-One of Israel can do through us. Praise be to God for another day of life!