How We Miss God’s Healing
All disappointment is a result of unmet expec
tations. When our expectations are out of alignment, we can find ourselves disappointed at the craziest things. We can even get angry when we receive something we want in a way we didn’t want to receive it. Naaman was no different.
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! (2 Kings 5:11 NLT)
Naaman was a great warrior and lead Aram’s army. However, as great as his skills at combat were, he suffered a stigmatizing disease- leprosy. Having so great a reputation and such an obvious insecurity, Naaman was prone to the same defensive and overcompensating attitudes we wear all the time. When he finally stood at Elisha’s doorstep, he faced not only being healed of his skin condition but his arrogant and insecure attitude as well.
Naaman was offended Elisha didn’t greet him in person. His disease always caused people to be avoid being near him. It was an old and raw wound, and it caused an immediate overreaction. If it wasn’t for his servants, Naaman would have went home just as diseased as when he met God’s prophet. His reaction threatened to keep him from the healing he long for.
What reactive attitudes show up in you that threaten to keep you from God’s healing?
God knows our condition, both of our body and our hearts. He’ll heal the former but almost always as a means to heal the later. It was only through Naaman’s humility that he received the healing he longed for.
You have heart wounds. So do I. We all do. They vary from deep bruises to bleeding gashes. When the pain of our wound flares up, it becomes all we can see. Our story, our worldview, our perception of others, all become myopically focused through the lens of that pain. That’s when we miss our opportunities for healing.
God knows the wounds of your heart. He longs to heal them, but to do so he has to touch them. We avoid the pain of having our wounds explored, cleaned, and sutured. Instead, we protect them, lick them, and growl at anyone who gets too close.
God is not scared of your wounds. His invitation for healing remains open to you. But you have to be willing to go through the process of healing. Naaman’s pride could have returned him home as sick as he arrived. You have to want healing more than protecting your pride, your public image, your old habits, and your fear. The fear of healing is worse than the process of receiving it. We only envision the difficulty of it and can’t see the relief that comes from it. I’ve never talked with anyone who regretted the process of healing once on the other side of it. How terrible a thing fear is to keep us from true freedom and healing.
May you have the courage to finally seek healing for your heart-wounds. It will be painful, but not nearly as painful as living with them. The healing will bring you a freedom you can’t even imagine.
Aron Strong, LMFT, was a pastor for more than a decade before transitioning to professional counseling. He is the director of Pathways Counseling in Murfreesboro and writes daily devotionals at www.biblebreakfast.club. He has been married for nearly 20 years, has a young son, two dogs and two cats.