[Today I’m super excited to introduce you all to Andrew Gilmore, a fellow writer and Bible lover. I hope you love this guest post he wrote, and I hope you check out his website and other writing. His link’s at the bottom of the post!]
If God told you to jump off of a cliff would you do it?
Okay, not a fair question. But I ask it only to make this next one seem not so ridiculous: If you had leprosy and God told you to go skinny dipping in a muddy river, would you do it? Don’t answer just yet. Ponder it while I tell you this story:
There’s a lake not too far from my house. That sounds luxurious, I know, but believe me. It’s not. Even its name—Lake Thunderbird—evokes a sense of legitimacy. Despite pretense, Thunderbird’s not all that nice. The lake is a manmade reservoir and supplies drinking water for us Normanites and surrounding central Oklahoma communities. That it could be used as a “lake” for recreation almost seems like it was an afterthought.
But these aren’t the only reasons Thunderbird is lacking. You see the lake, for want of a rock bottom, is murky. And if you know anything about Oklahoma, you know our dirt isn’t brown; it’s red. That causes the lake to be exceptionally cloudy and give off that cesspool kind of a vibe. (Did I mention we drink that?) As a result the lake has rightly earned the nickname Dirtybird.
I bring up Lake Dirtybird because that’s the image I get when I read the story of Naaman. You remember him, right? The big bad Syrian who happened to have incurable leprosy. But when his wife’s servant girl mentioned there was a prophet in Samaria who could heal Naaman, the quest was on. What did he have to lose?
When Naaman came to Elijah for help, here’s what the prophet said: Go wash in the muddy nasty Jordan seven times and you will be healed. (That’s me paraphrasing.) How did Naaman respond? Angrily. “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.’” (2 Kings 5:11). Hear that? He was so pompous, he referred to himself in the third person!
Naaman wanted to be healed, but he wanted to be healed his way. He had a preconceived notion of how things should go down, how God should do His job. What makes dipping in the Jordan seven times any more ridiculous than Elijah waving his hand like a crazy man?
Truth is, I act like Naaman all the time. I ask God for things, but then I get upset when they don’t come the way I expected, or when I have to do uncomfortable things to get them. God, please don’t ask me to swim in that lake. Naaman is a great reminder that God knows exactly what He’s doing, and we would do well to trust him (even if it means getting a little muddy).
Andew Gilmore writes for people who crave a deeper relationship with God, but might not know where to begin. He provides the tools and inspiration they need to connect with their Creator on a more intimate level. Learn more at bit.ly/about-andrew.