To Be Like Naaman

jordan river

If I were a man of valor, I could do all the right things while defeating many enemies. I could swarm in at the first sign of impending attack and quell the conflict with a glance of my fiery eyes. I could gain favor from the king, acclaim from my fellows, pride from the weight of the sword swinging mightily in my hand. Naaman was a man of valor. (2 Kings 5) Naaman was a leper.
The thing about our own might is that it can only reach so far. There will always be that thing out of our control that we cannot conquer with our own strength. There are things that coat the skin and degrade our might before our eyes. At the end of the day, we cannot make ourselves pure. We are helpless in the face of our own sins, unable to heal the innermost scars that taunt and threaten our undoing. Our own efforts look silly when the mirror reflects back to us the image of who we’ve become after the world has battered us to sickness.
Then we bring our riches to the place where God’s presence dwells, hoping he will be gracious enough to make us clean. He asks us for the simple thing. Go to the river and wash and be clean. Yet we are prone to turn away angry expecting to be asked to give greatness in exchange for greatness. Even then, we are reminded that the way to freedom is simple. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28.
We dive deep, seven times in the water of life and we are clean. “So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” 2Kings 5:14
The thing about Naaman is that his valor couldn’t save him. His riches couldn’t save him. (The man of God wouldn’t accept anything.) A simple act of obedience washed away his flesh until he was pure with faith like a child. It was there, in that childlike faith, that he knew God was real.
If I were a man of valor, I would be humble. I would deny logic for a chance to obey the voice of my maker. If I were a man of valor, I would become a child and follow.

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