So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy (2 Kings 5:14 NIV).
Friend to Friend
For years, I’ve struggled with a persistent health issue that lands me on the couch for days or weeks at a time. In the pursuit of healing, I’ve had scopes, scans, and tests. I’ve made trips to the clinic, the lab, and the emergency room. Supplements and medications gave only short-term relief. So tomorrow morning I’ll head to the hospital for outpatient surgery to resolve the problem once and for all.
Surgery is not the path to healing I would have chosen. It comes with pain and another stint on the couch. It will disrupt our family’s routine and force me to depend on others for help. I’ve been tempted to worry and complain even as the chance to be well is placed in my hands. And yet, it’s clear that surgery is God’s answer to prayers for healing. In obedience and trust, off I go!
I know that each of us is walking a unique path of healing today. For you, perhaps it’s a fight to regain your health. Or it’s repairing what’s broken in your marriage. It may be raising your sinking grade point average. Maybe it’s breaking the hold of addiction or getting out from under heavy debt. In whatever place of suffering you’re in today, God can lead the way—His way—to build you up again.
Yet God’s way is so often not the way we would choose. We see an example of this struggle in the Bible when the “valiant soldier” Naaman suffered an incurable skin disease (2 Kings 5:1). Most would look at Naaman and say he had it all. He held prestige as the army’s commander and right-hand man of the king. He had a family. Servants and attendants. Great wealth. Even so, his money and status were powerless to save his life.
What Naaman didn’t know was that God had a plan to restore his health. A young, God-fearing girl from Israel had been captured by raiders and put to work in Naaman’s household. This girl carried a message of hope that could change everything. She urged Naaman’s wife, saying, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy” (5:3).
Naaman went straight to the king, who immediately released him to pursue his cure. With horses and chariots, lavish gifts, and a letter from the king to pave the way, Naaman traveled to Israel. God’s prophet, Elisha, heard of it and said, “Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel” (5:8). Naaman and his entourage made their way straight to Elisha’s door, ready for a miracle.
But what met him at the door was not the famous prophet Elisha, who would surely “stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure [him] of [his] leprosy” (5:11). Instead, a humble messenger came out and delivered Elisha’s simple instructions: “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed” (5:10). Where was the drama? The excitement? The great display of heavenly power? Angry and insulted, Naaman “turned and went off in a rage” (5:12).
You and I can resist God’s instructions for healing too, can’t we? It’s hard to hear that
we must leave a destructive relationship. Expose our struggles in therapy. Delete that social media app. Cut up the credit cards. Resign from the role that’s burning us out. Fill the prescription. Confess our sin. Our pain is a test of our trust in the God who wants to heal our lives.
Naaman’s servants were able to persuade him to surrender to Elisha’s instructions. He humbled himself, dipped in the river seven times, and “his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy” (5:14). His life was saved! Yet even better than the physical healing he received, Naaman discovered the one true God. The God of Israel became his God as he experienced His loving power.
Today, let’s take our wounds and worries to the God who loves us. Let’s humble our hearts to follow His lead. As we trust and obey, we’ll find hope and help. We’ll be changed. Our hearts will worship. We’ll discover that by surrendering to God’s plan, we’ll “have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Are you ready?
Dear Lord, I need Your healing hand on my life. Show me the steps to take to be strong in my body, mind, and spirit. Give me a humble heart to accept and obey Your plan. Help me to trust You even if Your way is not what I would choose. Thank you for Your love that never lets me go.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What part of your life are you asking God to heal today? Name one step He is directing you to take to move toward healing.
More from the Girlfriends
To help you pursue growing, healing relationships in your marriage, parenting, and with God, Joanna Teigen co-hosts the Growing Home Together Podcast with her husband Rob. This encouraging podcast provides insight to help you apply the truths of scripture and care for the soul of your family.
© 2023 by Joanna Teigen. All rights reserved.
Thank you, Joanna for this reminder in scripture of 2 Kings 5!
God just wants to heal us. Why is it so hard for us to just ask Him for what we need?
God used this time (Lenten season) to slow me down (covid infection) and keep me available for someone else, to disciple from a distance. Through prayers,scriptures and text msgs. God used me. As ineffective as I felt, He used my simple method to pass along peace and comforting words to another during a stressful event. God’s”method” humbled me.
You never know when His directives will happen, but when it does and you are available,HE will work for the better outcome.
“All things work together for good, to those that love the Lord, according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28)
Carol, thank you for sharing how God used you in a place of weakness to give His strength to someone through you! And thank you for the reminder to stay available to Him and to keep ourselves in a humble place of depending on Him for everything. What an encouragement you are.
Carol, I always love your comments…when we get to heaven, I think I’ll need to give you a hug 🙂
This devotional is what I am experiencing now. I have been struggling with something. The Holy Spirit spoke to me about it, but, sorry to say, I have been dragging my feet for some time and not making the change that God has directed me to make. Finally, I just said, “God I want to do what you want me to do, but I’m struggling, will you please help me”. And He Did! And I’m experiencing a freedom from this pesky little sin in my life, that I didn’t think was causing too much trouble – but now, on the other side, I can see it was in fact wreaking havoc in my life. Praise God! He knows what He’s doing, and when we follow Him, everything changes!
Carolyn, thank you for sharing your testimony of saying “yes” to God! And thank you for showing us that when we finally surrender, God gives the help we need to walk into freedom. I’m praising God with you for His goodness in your life. Blessings on you today!
I’m grateful for this devotional and this forum. I am blessed by the message each day and also the comments. I can’t see why God has placed “a thorn in my side” or if there is something I should be doing about it (no cure). But I trust that it’s His will and I must seek His will in all I do. One small change can grow and grow to make a huge difference. May God bless you all!
Lord God, I pray you will meet Mardiece in the middle of her struggle today. Give her strength to endure. Fill her with faith that in this struggle, You are loving, good, and fully on her side. Reveal any steps of obedience You’re calling her to take so she can continue to walk in Your will. Reward her willing spirit with strength to follow where You lead. Thank you for Your love that keeps us going day by day. Amen.
I have been struggling with migraine for 30 years. Recently, they have become nearly relentless. I’m medicating as I need, but I need more to surrender. I feel if I can do that fully, I will at least be able to cope and be productive for Him. I’m listening for his voice ♥️🙏
Mauy, I’m sorry you’ve struggled with migraine pain for so long. I’m praying for God to bring relief and healing to your body. And, for Him to make it clear which new steps to take toward health. I see your desire to follow and serve Him–may He open doors to care for others in His name and give you the physical strength to do it. Thank you for reminding us all by your example to keep listening and waiting on Him. May He bless you in every way!
I have been suffering with pain in my left arm after breaking my elbow and had intensive surgery on it last year.I know this is something I may have to live with but still pray for relief.My husband and I are having extreme trouble with a daughter who has left her faith and is living a very sinful lifestyle so I know the stress of that is contributing to this pain.I pray that I can stay grateful for all he has done for me.
I’m praying with you, Lisa, for God to give you peace in your physical pain and your heart’s pain over your daughter. I pray He will reveal a next step to take to bring relief since your surgery. And, for Him to guide you in how to relate with your daughter. I know as a mom, it takes faith and surrender to release my daughters into God’s hands, especially when they are resisting Him. I need God’s help in every way and His promises to be there with us are a huge comfort. I pray He gives you what you need in this season as a mother.