Sunday we shall hear again the story of Naaman the leper from 2 Kings 5. He has many virtues, but being a good patient is not among them. You will hear again that Naaman thinks he has a better cure than that of the prophet.

Naaman needs to be cured of his leprosy, and God cures him of that disease, removing the stigma of his being unclean and an outcast. God gives him what he needs. But in giving him what he needs, God gives him what he does not want.  Naaman doesn’t want to do something so simple, so easy, as washing in the Jordan. The rivers of Damascus are just as good, thank you very much. They are just not the rivers God has chosen. They are just not the rivers Naaman needs to be cleansed. In a paraphrase of words from the Book of Jonah: Does Naaman do well to be angry?

You and I are frequently caught between what we need and what we want.  If you are like me, you meditate and contemplate what you want.  And, if you are like me, you don’t spend much time on what you need, on what God wants to give you.  That’s where the work is; that’s where you come in touch with your limitations; that’s where you learn how and in what direction you need to grow.

Often we are like Naaman: we think we know better, better than God, better than the Scriptures, better than the examples of the saints around us. But we discover that if we but move an inch toward God, God finds a way to carry us for miles.

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