Monday, March 12, 2007

The Healing of Naaman

I could relate with this story from today's First Reading. This is about the healing of "Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria". He "was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper." (2 Ki 5:1)

Here's the rest of the story:

2Ki 5:9-15 (ESV)

(9) So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house.

(10) And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean."

(11) But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, "Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.

(12) Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage.

(13) But his servants came near and said to him, "My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?"

(14) 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.

(15) Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, "Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant."

This story spoke to me because like Naaman, I want to be healed by God through extraordinary means (v. 11). Sometimes, I don't accept the answers to my problems because they seem too simple. So I unwittingly hold on to the problems and refuse to be helped by God and His messengers. God knows how stubborn, proud and impatient I am, and just like Naaman He directs me to go through a healing process now that would require me to obey Him and wait on Him.

Washing seven times in the Jordan seemed foolish in Naaman's eyes, moreso because he found nothing special in that particular river
and thought there were far superior waters elsewhere. His pride blinded him to God's powers. It was a blessing that his servants saw the wisdom in Elisha's prescription and encouraged him to try it out. They knew him well and knew how to convince him to get healing.

Not that I'm calling them servants (call me "Mistress" from now on, sisters, hehe), but my Women's Group is doing the same thing by pointing out my options that could very well spell out my healing process. I shared with them a recurring struggle that I had and they listened patiently. To their every suggestion, my reply was, "I've already tried that and it didn't work". This morning, when I read again about Naaman's healing, I felt God showing me that He could heal me if I would just cooperate, and His solution is not as grand or big or far off as I expected.

I pray that I continue to be transformed so that one day I could be healed from this leprosy I've been suffering from for a very long time.

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