“WASH AND BE CLEAN: A look at healing and dysfunctional expectations”
This story is so heavy on my heart, I’m bursting to share it with this community!!
In 2 Kings 5 there was a very well respected army commander and mighty warrior named Naaman. But he had a horrendous disease, leprosy. He had an opportunity to meet Elisha the prophet, and Elisha told him to go wash in the Jordan 7 times. You know what Naaman did? He lost his temper and said “I thought he’d personally come out and meet me, call on the name of GOD, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana and Pharpar, are cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not bathe in them? I’d at least get clean.” Then he stomped off as mad as a hornet (the Message version says).
He EXPECTED something else. He decided step by very specific step what his healing should look like, and when it didn’t turn out like that, he decided not to participate in his own miracle.
His servants caught up with him and said, “Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?”
OMG. This. We just expect things to be a certain way. We expect for God to require some heroic act or some grave sacrifice. Some of us expect to do nothing and that God will wave His hand and do all the work (and praise God that He does that sometimes!!). But whatever our expectations, many of us have highly dysfunctional ones.
My desire is this: to be fully expectant that He will move on my behalf. Be fully present with the Lord so that I hear and have courage to obey- no matter how big or how small His request of me. If he asks me to take another job. Done. If He asks me to wait. I wait. If he puts it on my heart to see a doctor. I’m calling today. If He wants me to simply receive. I put myself in a posture of worship. If He asks me to “wash and be clean” then I’m jumping in that dirty river. If something doesn’t look like I expected, I pray that God fills me with the faith to displace the lies of the enemy. I pray that He fills me with the courage to do the smallest and the hardest things. I pray that I have the faith to live my OWN story and not HERS. I pray that God increases my capacity and my understanding! And I pray this for you as well!!
What if we take God outside of our dysfunctional, stereotypical, and limiting boxes- and we let Him work as He wants to? Imagine the possibilities!! Imagine the stories and the healings and the miracles and the BREAKTHROUGHS! Imagine all the glory that our Father receives when we trust His plan.
Naaman ended up following the advice of his servants. He went and immersed himself in the river seven times. And do you know what happened? He was not slowly or partially healed of the most disgusting and isolating disease of that time- the Word says his skin was “restored like the flesh of a little child” and “like the skin of a little baby.” He went from having disgusting and painful skin infections all over his body to having BABY SKIN!!! For Naaman, making that simple act of faith by bathing in the river was HARD. It was humbling and it challenged him. But he did it anyways!! And God moved. And his whole life changed because of his physical healing!!
Friends, God still heals. He still restores. He still does miracles. Your leprosy may be PCOS. Maybe it’s the absence of sperm or an organ that isn’t functioning properly. Maybe your mind isn’t working like it should and you’re dealing with mental illness and feel shunned by those around you. Maybe you have cancer. I want to encourage you that nothing you’re facing is too big for our Healer. Seek Him daily and continue to do what He asks (whether big or small). If you’re not sure what He’s saying to you… press IN! Spend time praising. Spend time listening. He will direct you!!! And I believe you will see the full manifestation of your healing!
May we never limit God with our dysfunctional expectations.