Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
2 Kings 5:1-14 (NRSV)
Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. And the king of Aram said, “Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.”
He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.”
But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” He turned and went away in a rage. But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ’Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.
Sometimes things get so simple that they’re complicated. I suppose I’ve become accustomed to the mindset that the more difficult or strenuous, the more accurate something is. Often, my classmates and I get confused when assignments are straightforward. In my ever so beloved physics class, the equations and where they’re applied are usually self-explanatory, but because physics is a heavily concept-based subject, I tend to over analyze equations’ applications. I hear far too often, “You’re overthinking this too much! You know it.”
Our favorite things in life are simple: Family talks at the dinner table; warm cups of tea; sunlight shining through the trees; hearing a favorite song. God’s simplicity is what baffles us. God calls us to live according to God’s commandments. Those commandments are short and to the point. Although God’s plan can may make no sense to us, we must remember that just as simply as God created the world, God will bring healing and everlasting glory with the same simplicity. We must follow God’s simple commandments: love, forgive, trust, obey, and abide.
Dear Lord, we’ve become so used to life being complicated that we don’t know how to handle things when they are simple. Please give us the wisdom to accept your simplicity. Help us to simplify our lives and intentions. Help us to see life through a lens of love. Thank you for the simplicity of your love and your commandments. Amen.
Go with God.