Week 27 Tuesday

Doing What It Takes

Today’s scripture selection: Second Kings 1-5

Key verses: Second Kings 5:14

     Naaman wasn’t just anybody.

     The scripture says he was “the commander of the army of the king of Aram.  He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram.  He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.”

     “…but he had leprosy.”  That says it all, doesn’t it?

     Strong, fearless, greatly admired, and deathly ill.

     So, he asks for help from God’s prophet, Elisha.

     Actually, Naaman appeals to the king for help after learning about Elisha from an Israelite girl who happens to be Naaman’s wife.  The king responds admirably.  He sends Naaman with money – lots of it – and a personal letter, king to king, from the king of Aram to the king of Israel.

     One thing happens after another – and soon Naaman has his response from the prophet.  He is told to go wash in the Jordan and he will be healed.

     This is where it gets interesting.

     Because, at first, instead of being pleased – Naaman is furious.  “I thought he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.”

     He doesn’t even like the choice of river.  “Are not the Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?”

     So off he goes “in a rage.”

     Lucky for him – his servants – his servants of all people – convince him this is foolish.  So he does what he has been told to do – and he is healed.  In repentance, he realizes how great the God of Israel, and his prophet, is.

     Isn’t it funny?  Sometimes we are so proud; so sure; so confident that we know what is best and what must be done – in order to be “healed” of our own spiritual maladies.

     Then a great prophet comes along and says, in essence, “get over yourself.”  Do what needs to be done – humbly follow the counsel of God.  And that is when we are healed.

     It takes humility.  We may even have to admit we didn’t know what we were talking about.  But isn’t the healing worth it?


Prayer: Lord, humbly I come to you for healing and wholeness.  Restore me as needed – whatever it takes.  AMEN.




By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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