Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Simple Things

 17 August 2011
Do you remember that story of the guy who asked God for healing back way back when?  I think his name was Naaman.  He had a skin disease.  I never understood how he could be the captain of a nation’s mighty army AND have leprosy… I didn’t think he would have been accepted in those days.  But that’s not the point.

Naaman heard something about this guy who could heal him.  A prophet in Israel.  And he got excited.  He got ready.  He brought:
a letter from the king of Aram.  
750 pounds of silver.  
150 pounds of gold.  
and ten changes of clothes.

This guy knew how to prepare for a meeting.  And he was serious about getting himself healed.

But God, it seemed, had other plans.  When Naaman arrived, Elisha didn’t even welcome him.
          No glass of lemonade and cookies.
                        No fattened calf killed.
                                  No warm welcome, hug, hand shake, or high five.

Instead, Elisha sent a messenger with a note.  He said, “go wash in the Jordan River seven times and you’ll be healed and clean.”

Simple, right?  Except, that’s not what Naaman was looking for.  Let’s recall.  Naaman was the captain of an army and a mighty warrior.  He had traveled a long way with lots of gifts.  He was ready and prepared to do and give anything… ANYTHING in order to be healed.  Elisha was supposed to come out, wave his hands over him, and call on the name of the Lord so he would be clean.  (Literally… that’s what he was expecting.  Go and look it up.)

And... this is my favorite part.  As the captain stormed off in a rage, one of his servants came running after him.  (Which took a lot of guts, I'm willing to guess.  He's a powerful captain of the army, after all!)  And he said…
"...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’?"
Ah, it’s so simple.  Really.  And that’s how God tends to work.  He speaks to us in a still, small voice.  He desires to spend time with us.  He says, “follow me.”  And when Jesus ascended into heaven, He didn’t give His disciples a 57-step, complicated, burden-loaded curriculum for them to follow.  He simply said, “Go.  Make disciples.  And by the way, I’m not going to leave you.  Ever.”

But, let’s be honest.  We often want something great.  Its way more cool to have someone stand over you and make a show than to simply go wash in a dirty river while counting to seven.
Recently, in the midst of a million and one transitions… in the midst of trying to figure out how to dress and what to eat and what currency to use in the offering plate and how to greet people and where the milk goes in the fridge and what side of the road to drive on and how to settle into a routine at my parents’ home… in the midst of a zillion thoughts and questions about the future… it seems like God has been saying, "Crystal.  Be still.  And let ME tell you who you are.  Let the Truth of who I say you are wash over you and take away your stress, your worries, your anxious thoughts."

Somehow, it all just seems too simple.


It turns out Naaman and I have a lot in common.  And I'm praying that I wouldn't be as stubborn as he was... even though, in the end, he was obedient, and God worked an amazing healing according to HIS time and way!

1 comment:

  1. i just wanted to tell you that i love this post. i've come back to read it a few times. i get what you're saying... this encourages my heart. thanks for sticking close to Jesus and sharing what He's saying to you!