EXPECTING SATISFACTION MY WAY

Anger bubbled out like a cooking pot on fast boil. How could he be treated like this? He was “Somebody!” He had traveled quite a distance. He was due to be treated with deference and have his desires accorded, not dismissed out of hand. He was the type of person and had the kind of position that when he gave orders, people jumped.

But here he was left standing on the doorstep of the prophet’s house, in a foreign country. And the prophet wouldn’t even condescend to come out and talk with him. Only a message was sent through a servant to go bathe in the River Jordan. Anyone could carry a message. And anyone could go bathe in the river. He wasn’t to be treated like just anyone. Because of his position he at least expected the prophet to come and lay his hands on him, pronounce a mystical incantation and practice some kind of unusual ritual to procure a healing from leprosy.

Namaan was angry and stomped off muttering, “Just go wash in the Jordan seven times.” This was certainly not going the way he expected, no, not the way he deserved. “The prophet of Israel should do something spectacular for me,” he choked out as he roared off in a fury.

Eventually Namaan gets talked down from his anger to the point where it is only a low simmer, not a boil. He goes to the Jordan and washes after all. The miracle of healing follows and he is overjoyed and humbled into being a life-long follower of the true God.

How often are we like Namaan, seeking God to work in just the precise way we have mapped out? Or expecting God to answer our prayer within the strict time frame that fits our schedule and will make all the unpleasant issues we are concerned about fall into place?

The expectations we have of God when presenting our needs and requests can sometimes fall into the same attitude that Namaan had. We know what we need, we know when we need it, and we know how it needs to be done. We just need God to show up, move majestically into our life, give some spectacular results and let everyone know just what “pull” we must have to get the answer to our need in such a miraculous fashion. When it doesn’t necessarily go that way, do we ride off in a huff, anger boiling out, scalding our willingness to “wait on the Lord?” God’s word encourages us to: “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27:14. (NKJV)

The life experience of Namaan inspires us to quietly seek the Lord for our needs, then trust Him even when the answer may not come in the fashion we have already determined would be the most convenient or logical answer. Healing and hope will come. It just may take longer or may take a different route than we might have convinced ourselves that God must use.

It’s not just Namaan in the Old Testament that can learn to trust and accept the Lord’s timing and direction. I believe the great lesson for God’s people is to trust, especially by those eagerly anticipating the soon return of Christ in these last days. There is strength in His promise, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6. (NKJV)

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