How many times have you asked for a miracle? How many times was that request met with a season of discomfort? A miracle rarely seems to happen immediately. There seems to often be uneasiness and hardship before we are granted what we seek. We believe in God's plan for our lives, yet we hate the uncomfortable while we wait for the miracle. Today, I’d like to remind you that although the path to a miracle is often through discomfort, the discomfort is an indication that a miracle is soon to come. A beautiful illustration of this truth is the story of Naaman.
In 2 Kings 5, we find the story of Naaman, a commander of the army of Syria. He was a highly regarded and valiant soldier. Naaman suffered from a horrifying and contagious disease: leprosy. Leprosy, in Naaman’s time, was incurable. The disease was often viewed as a divine curse because of how unpleasant and destructive it was to the human body. The story states that a young girl had been taken captive from Israel, and placed in Naaman’s home to serve his wife. The young servant girl, seeing her master’s affliction, suggested that he visit a prophet named Elisha, who could cure him. Naaman agreed and set out to visit this prophet in Samaria. When he arrived at Elisha’s house, Elisha sent a messenger to say, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” This message angered Naaman! He thought that Elisha would come to meet him personally and cure him. He had expected a different treatment for his disease. Moreover, Elisha’s suggestion of such a common and dirty river as the Jordan seemed insulting to a man of his stature. He initially refused to wash his body in the Jordan River, and the mere suggestion made him irritated. However, the desire for healing prevailed and he decided to follow the instructions.
I can only imagine his discomfort as he walked into the muddy, turbid waters of the Jordan River. A man like Naaman, accustomed to the great rivers of Damascus, washing his body in the mud-filled Jordan because an Israelite told him to? Preposterous. I imagine him immersing his body into the murky water and feeling infuriated and uneasy. He goes in for the first time, comes back up uncured. One more time he dips his body in the river, his discomfort growing with every immersion, and still, he is uncured. He feels doubtful, he feels disgusted, he feels uncomfortable. But, on that seventh immersion, as promised, he was cured! Can you imagine how quickly his discomfort turned to joy? Or how fleeting his disgust was when his skin came back up cured and healthy? At the end of the uncomfortable, Naaman found what he searched for: a miracle.
Call to Action
Many of us, like Naaman, will face the uncomfortable before the miracle. The truth is that the path to a miracle often goes through uncomfortable territory that will force us to depend on God, to trust in His promises. Think of the beautiful stories in the Bible where people were led to miracles through discomfort…Israel endured years of discomfort before they could enter the Promised Land. David was doubted before he slew Goliath. As a wedding party panicked, Jesus miraculously turned water to wine. In your season of discomfort, I call you to rejoice in it. It is simply a reminder of all the good that is soon to come. May your prayer today be, “God, help me to see your will in my discomfort. Help me to recognize the glory of Your ways, to see that the uncomfortable comes just before a miracle.”
Unless noted otherwise, scripture taken from the New King James Version ®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.