So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 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.” 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. 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. (2 Kings 5:9-12 ESV)
Naaman was the commander of Syria’s army and had leprosy. Because he had heard there was a prophet in Israel who could heal him, he went there. This is where the account above picks up. When he is told to go and wash 7 times in the Jordan, he does not like the advice. “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.” Clearly Naaman had different expectations of this prophet and it nearly caused him to go away without being healed. Doesn’t this reflect our own hearts at times? We pray with certain expectations of how the Lord should answer, we even word these expectations in our prays, and when we do not see the expectation being met, we think God has not heard or will not answer. Consequently we lose faith and grow skeptical of praying. Is it not possible, even probable, that God answered the need, if not our words, in His own way – one far better than we could have hoped? Let us consider and look for this. Maybe we, too, can then find reason to worship the Lord, as Naaman did.
Lord, would you guard us from our preconceived ideas of who you are and how you answer, that we might learn to see you as you are and receive your answers as you give them, that your name might be praised.