The Healing of Naaman

Lord, please heal me.

I think sometimes we don’t know just how broken we are until we are easily re-injured.

I had a friend who tore her ACL.  The doctors told her that she should avoid rigorous sports like snow skiing.  Against her doctor’s wishes, she decided to brave the mountain one day.  Her injury wasn’t fully healed and she tore her ACL again.  This sent her into another long six-month recovery program. Although that was bad, I’ve seen worse.  I knew a girl who didn’t let her knee injury fully recover before she decided to engage in her favorite pre-injury activities – she didn’t re-injure her bad knee, but instead, she injured her good knee.

Our hearts react in similar ways.  We think we are healed, but then something happens and we realize that we are far too easily injured.  What’s worse is that sometimes we don’t re-injure those same places in our hearts, but we end up injuring other places, places that were completely whole.

2 Kings 5, tells the history of a valiant warrior named Naaman.  Naaman had the favor of the LORD and was given victory in battle, which gave him the respect of the king.  He was brave and wonderful, even his name tells us so – Naaman means “pleasantness”.  However, Naaman didn’t have everything, he was a leper.  Imagine his life, a respected warrior and an outcast leper.

One day a little girl was taken captive by Naaman’s people and she told Naaman’s wife the sweetest thing: “I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria!  Then he would cure him of his leprosy.”  Can you imagine the faith of such a girl?  I think of my own little daughter and I wonder if she was taken captive would she have good wishes for the man who took her?  Naaman’s healing began that day with one little girl who wanted good things for her master.

Naaman went to the king of Israel to find this prophet.  When he arrived he found Elisha confirming the words of the little girl, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean.”  These words didn’t bring Naaman great happiness or hope, but rather they infuriated him, “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.’”

Naaman had his own ideas of what healing should look like.

I must admit – I am too much like Naaman.  Sometimes I just want God to come down in a glittery cloud and cure me.  I don’t want to go to the Jordan.  I don’t want to dip in the river.  I don’t want to hear about my cure from the mouth of a child.  I want something much more glorious – I want something much more magnificent.

Since being in Boulder, I’ve been made more aware of the broken pieces in my life.  I am forced to face them because I have very little here to comfort me.  Even my great days take incredible faith and dependence on God.  Yet I know, in the most unlikely city in the world, my healing rests in this land.  I want to just be comfortable again.  I want God to just wave His hand over me and make everything pleasant.  But, sometimes our healing isn’t that glamorous.

Sometimes God brings us to a place of humility to actively wait for His healing.  I emphasize the word actively, because I think that far too often we think that healing is a byproduct of us just being God’s children.  But more often than not, we are asked to “go and do” in order to receive the healing that God has for us.

Truth be told, I would love for God to tell me to go dip in my bed and sleep for seven nights and then I’ll be healed.  But instead, I’m instructed to open up my heart to Him and let Him bind up my broken heart.  And of course, to keep a disciplined mind and refuse to meditate on thoughts that lead me further into my own destruction.

After Naaman was healed in the river he says, “Behold, now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel.”  I wonder if Elisha was present during Naaman’s healing if Naaman would have even seen God in it.  I picture this valiant warrior, vulnerable and humble and ALONE, dipping into a river for his cure.  When he comes out of that river with new skin, he has no choice but to acknowledge the hand of God in it.

I am fully convinced that our healing usually lies in those intimate moments when we are alone with God.  We definitely get revelation and words of comfort from fellowship and other’s wisdom.  But genuine healing often comes when we just lay our hearts bare before the LORD in a quiet place… sometimes we need to dip ourselves in God’s healing rivers and allow Him and Him alone, to wash over us.

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