2 Kings 5:1-15;Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4; Luke 4:24-30
3rd Week of Lent
I thought that he would surely come out and stand there to invoke the Lord his God. (2 Kings 5:11)
Poor Naaman! He has carefully planned his journey in search of healing, but he keeps having to adjust his expectations. Fortunately, God puts his agents in the right place at the right time to help Naaman accept these changes.
First is the slave girl who tells Naaman that there may be a cure for the leprosy he has assumed would always plague him. When the king of Israel expresses alarm at Naaman’s request, Elisha hears about it and sends a messenger to invite Naaman to come discover that there is indeed a prophet in Israel. But Naaman has already played the scene of his cure in his imagination, and it doesn’t include plunging into a dirty river. Offended by what Elisha tells him to do, Naaman is ready to go home without being healed. Again, his servants act as God’s agents. They persuade him that he might as well give it a try. As a result, not only is Naaman healed; he comes to know the one true God.
Naaman shows us how we can start off in good faith but find ourselves limited or even led astray by our past experiences. Our notions of how things are or how they should be can blind us to what God wants to do for us now, in this new moment.
Fortunately, God has many agents who can help us correct our course. It may be a character from Scripture whose situation seems familiar. It may be a present-day hero of the faith whose triumph speaks to our lives. It may be a wise friend who prays with us at just the right time or a spiritual director who listens to us and asks questions that help us get unstuck. It may even happen in a “chance” encounter, a “God-incidence.”
If you are facing a challenge or an important decision, lay it before the Lord, and ask him to direct you. Then open your eyes and ears! He has already placed his agents in strategic locations, ready to move you along his path.
“Lord, I want to do things your way and not on my own. Send your messengers to shine light on my path.”~WAU