Do you ever catch yourself treating God like a genie in a lamp? I occasionally find myself telling God how to answer my prayers. And I then wonder why He doesn’t answer the way I wanted. There. That is my confession for the day. Isn’t that ridiculous? God, the Creator of the whole universe, is not bound by my limited mind and expectations. He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. I am…me. A simple human dealing with everyday problems, big and small, who cannot see the big picture like our God can.
In 2 Kings 5, we find the account of a man who actually became angry when God’s answer wasn’t grandiose enough.
“Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, and highly respected, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant warrior, but he was a leper. Now the Arameans had gone out in bands, and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said to her mistress, ‘I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his leprosy.'” ~ 2 Kings 5:1-3
Elisha had been given Elijah’s ministry after “Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven” (2 Kings 2:11). He apparently was well known throughout Israel for the many miracles God had worked through him. Because of this little Israelite slave girl, Naaman journeyed to Samaria (Israel) to seek healing.
“So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots, and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you and you shall be clean.’ But Naaman was furious and went away and said, ‘Behold, I thought, “He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and cure the leper”‘… So he turned and went away in a rage.” ~ 2 Kings 5:9-11, 12b
Naaman felt snubbed. He was “a great man” and “a valiant warrior”, yet Elisha didn’t even come out to see him personally. And there was no great and mighty “show”. Just “go and wash in the Jordan seven times”. Naaman took off for home in a huff, furious…and still stricken with leprosy.
Thankfully, voices of reason calmed him down and talked some sense into him.
“Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, ‘My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, “Wash, and be clean”?’ So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. When he returned to the man of God with all his company, and came and stood before him, he said, ‘Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel;'” ~ 2 Kings 5:13-15a
When we accept God’s answers and instructions for our lives, listen to the voice of reason (the Holy Spirit), and act upon them and obey, it will always work out for our good. God is faithful. Always. Even when we must sheepishly confess that we have been foolish and wrong, He is wise and right, abounding in love and grace for us, His sheep who so often go astray. Thanks, God.