2 Kings 5:12-13 – Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean? He turned and went away in a rage. But his servants approached and said to him, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, "Wash, and be clean"? (NRSV)
When I was at the YWCA the other day, I heard the following statement: "I can't believe people get in that dirty water everyone has bathed in. Why don't they install a Jacuzzi at their house where they can have clean water?"
For one thing, I thought, we arthritic patients cannot all install Jacuzzis at home. Second, she doesn't have arthritis, so she doesn't know the pain relief that comes from circulating hot water. Third, her doctor did not tell her to use one. Fourth, the water does have purifiers in it.
I didn't say any of these things. I told her the benefits were worth the sacrifice.
To be a Christian and to follow the path directed by God will mean crawling into the dirty water many times along the way, but the rewards are always worth it. Naaman found that bathing in the dirty river of Israel cured his disease. Even though he had clean rivers back in Damascus, he had to follow Elisha's directions in order to be healed. If Elisha had told Naaman something complicated, he would have obeyed, but the cure was simple — to immerse his body in the River Jordan seven times.
Are we overlooking our healing today because it is not complicated enough? Is just accepting Jesus Christ into our hearts too simple for one to accept? Are the Bible's instructions too simple?
Prayer: Lord, help us to learn from Naaman to be humble, to follow Your instructions, and to accept the simple ways of life. Amen.