Recently, I was reading in 2 Kings and a passage of scripture really jumped out at me. It was the story of Naaman, a commander of King Aram’s army. (In other words, he was a “Big Cheese.”)
Naaman had leprosy and had heard that there was a prophet in Israel who could cure him.
Fast forward and picture this: In his chariot, Naaman arrives at Elisha’s home; Elisha sends out his servant to deliver a message to Naaman; he tells Naaman that to be healed, he needed to go wash in the Jordan River seven times.
Fury flies all over Naaman as he says, “I thought that he (Elisha) would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprocy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
Fortunately, one of Naaman’s servants talked some sense to him and he followed Elisha’s instruction and was healed.
I realize this was a long introduction, but the truth in this story is so relevant to our lives today. How often do we ask the Lord for help, but because that help does not come in the way we anticipate, we reject God’s solution?
Perhaps we prayed for someone’s healing and God took them home; we prayed for favor on the job and we got fired; we prayed for a baby and we ended up without.
Our preconceived ideas would tell us God didn’t answer or He didn’t care – because things didn’t go the way we wanted. In our pride we blame God, but the truth is, we have a choice. Do we stomp off like Naaman, bitter and angry, turning our back on the One True Solution; or do we trust that God’s ways are higher and that He could take that which was meant for evil and turn it to good?
Let’s not allow our own preconceived ideas of how God should operate separate us from His best. Whil, like Naaman, we may throw a momentary tantrum, let’s also follow his example of listening to Godly counsel and give God room to demonstrate His good plans for us.
It might just be that God had a better plan for our loved one; He had a better job for us; or there was a very special child that God wanted us to adopt. Be aware, we could miss God’s hand in all of that by holding on tightly to our preconceived ideas.
Lord, help me to be open to letting you out of my box and trusting that your ways are higher. Help me to listen to the voice of your Spirit and be quick to respond. Lord, I surrender to you my preconceived ideas.