Naaman was mad. Very angry, in fact.
It’s no wonder. He had a huge, monstrous, humanly-insurmountable need.
He had come a long way for a solution. And a divine solution at that. He’d had plenty of time to develop a certain scenario, a specific sequence of events that should transpire.
In other words, he had his own idea on how things were going to happen and what God was going to do. He had come up with something pretty nifty, really:
“But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper” (2 Kings 5:11).
Can’t you empathize with Naaman?
I sure can, even if only just a little bit and for only a little bit. And then only in my weaker, downer moments.
I mean, look. I know what my urgent, desperate, dire need is. I have figured out what God needs to do. And I have faith that He will do it. So I try hard to live accordingly.
Then it doesn’t work out. As I was told, I asked, yet my need continues. Only worse. And I wonder what God is up to. “Behold, I thought!” I think.
I get my own twinges of anger. Well, no, not really. Not anger. More like despair and frustration and discouragement. Or do I mean cynicism and disillusionment and fear? Maybe it’s just dejected, baffled confusion. But it’s still not right to entertain such thoughts toward God and His ways. I try to disown, reject, and banish such evil thinking. I don’t want my hourly follies to multiply, unchecked and unforgiven.
Nevertheless, a thought remains, niggling, mocking, hissing: “I guess what I thought was faith and discernment was only presumption and delusion. Too bad.”
Will I be left with ever-smaller pieces? Of certitude. Of confidence. Of direction. Of I-know-God’s-will-in-this-so-I’ll-live-it-out faith. “I can do nothing,” I moan.
Do you know what I mean?
I’m sure God is up to good. And only good.
I told Him I want His best. Because I trust Him.
And yet…I certainly no longer know what else I should be asking for.
So I just ask for His best. And I ask for His help. More of His help. Above what I can ask or think. Far beyond what I deserve.
I know that if He helped me only to the extent I deserve, He wouldn’t help me at all. And if He hadn’t helped me at all, my situation would be even more dire. Actually, I would have ceased to be long ago. So He helps me even when it seems He overlooks me.
Do you still know what I mean?
Well, this connects with my Caused to Hope post.
Come to think of it, it must be time to smile! So I did. I just did smile. At my monitor. For God. For me.
Maybe I should sing too.
I close with another question: What will it take to turn you from God? By His grace, nothing.
I wasn’t going to call attention to this lament on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Google+. I was even going to skip the usual automatic email to blog subscribers! But I’ve changed my mind. Maybe it will be helpful to someone.
I know I was going to close above. I also know I’ve already thrown lots of links at you, but here are two more: