“O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen.” —Henri Nouwen

It’s Not about Us


2 Kings 5:1-14

by Carolyn M. Anderson

Just as it often is for us today, God’s instructions come to Naaman from a most unlikely source. He responds just as we sometimes do, allowing his pride to get the best of him and therefore not doing exactly what the young Israelite girl has said. Rather than following the guidance God is sending, Naaman decides to go to the authority figures, hoping to get what only God can give.

Since the letter Naaman carries contains nothing about contacting the prophet, the king of Israel cannot understand why he receives this unreasonable request. Elisha hears about this mess and sends word to have Naaman come to him. But Naaman’s pride gets in the way again because he has his mind made up about his treatment and the manner of his healing.

It is amazing how God offers simple instructions, and we look around for something spectacular. Rather than do as we have been told, we try to figure things out our way, rejecting God’s option. Often just like Naaman we come close to missing our blessing because we have predetermined how and when God will respond to our needs. Surprisingly stubborn Naaman finally relinquishes his pride. Having listened to the pleas of his servants, he takes the necessary step himself toward the healing that God offers. Naaman has to go into the water himself; no one else, no authority figure, no prophet, no one can do it for him. God’s plan for our well-being often requires little more than our willingness to step out into what God already has in place for us.


Eternal God, give me the wisdom to listen to you and follow with an obedient heart, mind, and will. Amen.

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