Humility Brings Healing
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
─ 1 Peter 5:10
Naaman, a highly respected commander of the King of Aram’s army had leprosy, the most feared disease of his day. Some forms were highly contagious, incurable, and often led to death. Although it’s possible, in Naaman’s case, his case was mild or still in the first stages because he still held his position (2 Kings 5:1-2).
In a raid, a young girl from Israel was taken captive and given to Naaman’s wife as her servant. The young girl, who remained nameless in the Bible, told her mistress that if her master would see the prophet in Samaria, he would heal her master of His leprosy.
Naaman’s king granted him permission to go. When he stopped at Elisha’s door, the prophet didn’t even come out. Instead, he sent him instructions to go to the River Jordan and dip himself in it seven times and he would be cleansed.
Infuriated, Naaman went off in a rage, offended that the prophet would require him to wash in the dirtiest river around. The prophet didn’t come close to meeting Naaman’s expectations (2 Kings 5:11-12). You can almost hear him say, “How dare he expect me to do such a thing!”
His lack of humility and frustration of such a simple but unexpected course of action, almost cost him the miracle of healing his servant girl promised. The servants with him convinced him to humble himself and simply try it. What did he truly have to lose other than his pride, and his leprosy.
And when Naaman did what the man of God had instructed him, he was healed. “His flesh was restored and he became clean like that of a young boy” (2 Kings 5:14 NIV).
So, what can we learn in just the first part of Naaman’s story?
- Always show compassion.
A little girl, taken from her home could have been angry and bitter toward her captors. Instead she shared God’s love and truth of healing power, possibly saving her master’s life.
- Don’t have unrealistic expectations.
Naaman expected the prophet to wave his hands over him and make him clean, but Elisha didn’t even come out and greet him. It angered Naaman.
- Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought.
Naaman felt disrespected. “Didn’t Elisha know who he was?”
- Listen to wisdom from others.
Naaman’s servants intervened and convinced Naaman to give the instructions a try.
Today’s One Thing
Which of the lessons in Naaman’s story speak to you? What do you believe you can do differently to better position yourself to hear God and respond to His instruction on a daily basis? Ask God to show you how you can improve in one of these areas.