When Naaman faced the insurmountable odds of reversing his leprosy, he became a desperate man (2 Kings 5). Only the words of a captive Jewish girl brought some measure of hope. She told him he could find healing from a prophet in Israel. After receiving all of the right permissions, he finally arrived at the home of the prophet Elisha. Naaman had hoped that the prophet would simply come out, meet him, wave a wand and take care of the leprosy! Instead, Elisha sent a message for Naaman to go and “dip” seven times in the Jordan River.
Naaman was dismayed at the prophet’s response and experienced three battlefronts that can be common to all of us as we trudge our way through seemingly impossible odds.
The first battlefront is emotions. Naaman was angry (2 Kings 5:11). USA Today (March 12, 2009) reported that the stress level of people in America has been greatly impacted by current economic issues. In a survey of nearly 400,000 people, the article says, the darkest 10 days of their lives in 2008 occurred during the fourth quarter of economic duress. By contrast, the happiest three days of the year were July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Emotions are often like a roller coaster, especially when confronted by tough situations. Beware!
Second, in the middle of a challenge, conversations become an important battleground. Naaman, a brave warrior from Aram, became quite cynical over the brief engagement he had encountered in Israel. He challenged the wisdom and direction from the prophet. The scriptures remind us that we are accountable for all of our words. We can speak life or death by what we say.
Our decisions represent the last battlefront. Naaman concluded that he would simply leave. The problem with that decision is that he would return to his country with the same condition that he came with. How tragic! Stubbornness often leads us to delay or deny the miracle intended for us by the Lord.
Those around him confronted Naaman’s attitude and responses. He finally submitted to their counsel, did what the prophet said, and was healed! If you’re not experiencing the breakthrough that you have hoped for, consider inviting your closest allies and ask for their insights. Continual assessment of our emotions, conversations and decisions is not only righteous (“Let every man examine himself … “) but healthy as well! Believe for a word from the Lord—and hope that when you hear from Him as Naaman did, it is during a season when the water is warm!
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” -Psalm 139:23, 24 (NIV)