Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/franklin_hunting/I've been studying the miracles of the prophet Elisha and ran across a great story. 2 Kings 5:1-27 tells the story of Naaman and his battle with leprosy. Naaman was a commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was a great man who was highly favored by the king, but could not shake this disease. One day he heard about the prophet Elisha through his wife's servant girl, who was from Israel. So he gathered his horses and chariots; and some money and clothing as a thanks offering, and headed out . He even had the king of Syria write him a reference letter to deliver to the king of Israel. Elisha eventually got word of him and decided he would have Naaman come to his home to help him.
Now in my mind, I imagine Naaman arriving at Elisha's house "Coming to America" style. Remember at the beginning of the movie; the wife they picked for Eddie Murphy's character came with dancers, animals, singers, and all the bells and whistles? The Bible doesn't say it but that's how I pictured his arrival. This was a big deal! But to Naaman's surprise, Elisha did not even come to the door to greet him! He sent a messenger. And the messenger had the nerve to tell him to go dip himself in the Jordan river seven times!
At this point Naaman is furious! He expected the man of God to at least come greet him, wave his hand over him like magic, and voilà, no more leprosy! He certainly didn't expect to be told to go jump in a filthy river. He was a Commander of the army of Syria! To make a long story short, he finally got over himself and did as the prophet asked-and was healed of leprosy. But he didn't get healed his way, it was the Lord's.
I believe this story is indicative of how we treat God sometimes. We try to dictate the course of our blessings. We want certain things and we want them done our way. However, it has been my experience that the Lord moves in unconventional ways and is always trying to teach us something in the process. His ways are not our ways. He's like Master Miyagi from Karate Kid. He could never give young Daniel just traditional karate lessons. Daniel didn't realize until later that "wax on, wax off" was not about washing a car! The Lord just doesn't release blessings without some underlying message. All Naaman wanted was to be cured from leprosy. But I believe that God was trying to teach him obedience and humility. The healing part was just an afterthought. It is always the unintended message that God is trying to get through. Our emphasis is on ourselves as opposed to God's purpose. So let us remember that God is always working on our behalf for the greater good. We may focus on a certain area, but he is always interested in the whole person.