“Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel…”
– 2 Kings 5:15 NKJ
“You face your greatest opposition when you’re closest to your biggest miracle.”
— T. D. Jakes
Often, the most powerful, life-changing miracles seem to happen in the “buts” of life.
Consider the story of Naaman. 2 Kings 5:1 describes him with glowing accolades.
Commander of the army of the king of Syria.
A great man with his master.
A mighty man of valor.
Then out of nowhere – life-altering words.
But…he was a leper.
Think about that. Leprosy. The most dreaded disease of his day—putrefying infected sores that in time caused loss of fingers, toes, nose. Leprosy was not a hidden disease. Everyone who came in contact with Naaman saw the miserable condition he carried with him. There was no hiding it. It was the first thing they saw. It defined him.
Many men are followers of Christ that love God but they are defined by the “buts” in their lives. Maybe that’s you. You love God and you really do believe that God loves you. You read the Word, pray, give your tithes and offerings, attend worship services, desiring to obey and walk in His Spirit.
You aren’t good enough.
She said, “I don’t love you anymore.”
We don’t have a job for you.
Your kid’s an addict.
“Buts” that now seem to define who you are. “Buts” that perhaps even cause you to question God and His plan, even His goodness. “Buts” that understandably cause you to ask “Where are you God?”
Let’s look again at the well-known Bible story of Naaman. At the recommendation of a young slave girl, he traveled to find the prophet Elisha. Elisha sends a servant out to instruct Naaman to go and wash seven times in the Jordan. Albeit reluctantly, and even with quite a bit of raging about how irrational the command is, he obeys.
I wonder how Naaman felt after he dunked himself the first time. No change. The second time. No change. Third time. No change. After number six, he might have been thinking that this was a horrible joke and a waste of time. The anger he had initially felt was returning. Someone was going to pay for this public act of embarrassment. Have you been there? Faith…trust…obedience…and seemingly no change. You find yourself confused, distraught, and perhaps even a bit angry at God.
Then Naaman dipped the seventh time and “his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (2 Kings 5:14 ESV). He went back to the “man of God”, stood before him and declared, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant” (2 Kings 5:15
Though it seemed otherwise, God was in the midst of Naaman’s pain, faithfully working His plan in the “but” of his life, which ultimately brought glory to Him. And God is in the midst of your pain also. He hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t forsaken you. He is faithfully working in the plan of your life. He’s taking your story and making it His story for His glory. Don’t be defined by the “but” in your pilgrimage. Don’t give up. Keep believing that He is God, and He is good. Your miracle could be just one more “dip in the Jordan” away so keep dipping my friend.
Prayer to IGNITE:
Lord grant me the strength to keep dipping far as long as it takes so You can be glorified in my life. Let my story be used for your glory.