Keep Hearts Tender
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.”
11 But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! 12 Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.
13 But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’”
14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child, and he was healed! 15 Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.
I feel one of the greatest dangers we can ever run into as born again believers is to lose our awe and fascination with the Glory of God. It’s not that His presence or image ever becomes boring. No, that's impossible! The problem lies in the fact when we lose focus of who our God really is, our fire for intimacy with Him begins to wane. Inevitably, we become more fixated on the trials of life, instead of being consumed by the One who spoke life into existence. This is one of the many tragedies of the human experience. Due to the fall, we are prone to wander. In the wandering we always find ourselves in places where we need Him and His glorious presence to come to the rescue. It's a vicious cycle. God is wise and knows in most cases we are so overcome by our problems that we don't actually recognize what we truly need is simply Him. In our fallen state, we mistake the things that He can do, for who He is. So, in His infinite wisdom He usually calls us to a place of humility and tender heartedness so we don't mistake the blessing for the blesser. All of us at a certain point can relate to Naaman. As far as he knew, Naaman had no use for the God of Israel and His splendor, aside from needing healing from leprosy. God in His love and desire for Naaman had a goal of having a relationship with him beyond the scope of just giving him healing from leprosy. So as an act of grace, the Lord calls Naaman to a place where he must become humble and tenderhearted in order to receive his healing, and more importantly, the ability to see the glory of the Healer.
Naaman, like all of us, is used to fighting for what he feels he deserves. This feeling of what we deserve actually creates a blind spot in our ability to see a God who gave away all of what He deserved in order to have a relationship with us. When I give up my privilege and self proclaimed rights, I position myself best to be able to see the Glory of God. When I can see God’s glory, I realize that in Him I have more than what I need. Then out of His abundance He brings healing to the crisis I was once fixated on. Unfortunately, this process usually involves the breaking of much pride in myself, which is a good thing, but is never easy.
So what are you fighting for right now? What’s the crisis that’s consumed your focus? In humility will you shift your gaze to Jesus despite what He has or hasn't done yet? After this life, when we enter into eternity, we will no longer be able to choose where to focus our gaze, the choice will be easy (Jesus). I want to choose to learn how to live like I am in eternity now. I don’t want to wait until then, I want to be fixated on Him now.