“Don’t seek miracles. Follow Jesus. And if you follow Jesus long enough and far enough, you’ll eventually find yourself in the middle of some miracles.” – Mark Batterson
Do you remember the story of Naaman? Really? Everyone knows the great Bible character Naaman. You know, the commander of the king of Aram. Still no? Maybe this will ring a bell:
The story takes place in 2 Kings 5. Naaman is a great commander. He was highly regarded and had many victories in battle. He was a brave soldier. But he held a secret. A skeleton in his closet.
He had leprosy.
The disease was contagious revealing itself through painful sores and bumps. It could even cause nerve damage, causing loss of feeling in the arms and legs which could prove detrimental to his career.
Naaman’s battle with leprosy continued until his wife’s servant spoke to him saying, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
He had nothing to lose. After getting permission from the king, Naaman went to visit the great prophet Elisha. He arrived with a group of horses and chariots. Elisha sent a messenger to him that instructed him to wash in the Jordan river seven times, then he would be cured of his disease.
Naaman threw a fit. Why should he have to go through all of that work when Elisha can simply wave his hand over the spot of leprosy and heal him.
Naaman took a little more convincing before he finally agreed to wade out in the Jordan and was cured.
Naaman was aggravated at first because he assumed Elisha would heal him instantly. So many when we pray we have the same expectations. God, why won’t you just cure me of this ailment that has caused me so much pain? Why don’t you just give me the money I need to get out of debt? Why can’t you just tell me the direction you want me to go?
I think that, just like in Naaman’s case, God requires action before he answers. God requires an act of faith on our part before he will act on our behalf. Most of the time we pray, dust off our hands, and expect God to step in and save the day.
But sometimes God is asking us to dive into the Jordan first.
So when you pray, also listen. When you expect, get ready to be sent. When you ask, be prepared to act.
Parents: Talk to your children about Naaman’s story. Ask them why they think that Elisha made him wash in the Jordan seven times.