In 2 Kings 5, we read the story of Naaman—a mighty man of valor. His military career was full to the brim with success. Yet now he faced an enemy he did not know how to conquer.
The vulnerable affliction of leprosy must have been humbling. In fact, he was humble enough to listen to the recommendation of a slave girl who told his wife there was a prophet in her land who could heal him.
The King of Syria sent an immense amount of money to the King of Israel along with the request for healing for Naaman, illustrating his value as a leader and the desperation of the situation. The prophet Elisha heard of the request and sent for Naaman to come to him that God’s glory might shine.
When Naaman pulled up the prophet’s home, Elisha sent out his servant to tell the military hero to wash in the Jordan River seven times to receive healing. This was too much, however. Naaman must have felt he had already gone low enough. It was offensive that Elisha himself did not come out, and he much preferred the rivers of his own land to that of the Jordan River. Hot anger made him turn to leave.
When we live beaten down under the weight of life, it can be hard to swallow the means of healing God provides, especially when it does not look the way we thought it would. We might look to a pastor, counselor, or the latest book to ‘fix’ us, when instead it will take a humble effort of forgiveness to walk free from the leprosy of bitterness.
Thankfully, Naaman’s servants could talk sense to him, and his skin returned to that of a child on his seventh dip into the Jordan River. His humility was a precursor to his healing. Let’s be people who trust the means of healing and restoration God has provided for us by being willing to be humbled in the process.