August 06, 2007

Frustrated by the Runaround

2 Kings 5:1-14

"Wash and be cleansed!" 2 Kings 5:13


When you phone a large bank, you often find yourself listening to a recording rather than a real person. And once you do get a person on the line, it may not be the right one. You may end up frustrated with the runaround of being transferred from person to person without having your problem addressed.

Naaman was frustrated by the runaround he thought he was getting as he sought a cure for his leprosy. He'd gone to Israel with official letters to find the prophet Elisha. But Elisha was "unavailable" to deliver the customary rites that a general like Naaman would expect from a holy man. Elisha sent instructions to Naaman, but that only made him angry. The Jordan River, where he was told to wash, was like a muddy stream to him.

But this was no runaround, and Naaman was blessed to have servants who loved him enough to point out that his pride was getting the better of him. When Naaman humbled himself and followed the prophet's instructions, he received a baptism of healing and "new life" in the Jordan.

Sometimes we think God is giving us the runaround. Like Naaman, we aren't impressed by humble paths that lead to blessing.

It's amazing what God has in store for us when we don't let our pride stand as a roadblock to obedience.

Holy Spirit of God, your ways are not always as we expect or want them to be. Help us to submit to your leading, and to receive the new life you prepare for us. Amen.

About the author — Fred Bultman

Fred Bultman began a “second career” as a pastor in 1997, after a first career in the banking business.  He served as pastor to congregations in the U.S. and Canada. In retirement, he continues to enjoy sharing in the ministry of the churches in and around his home in Fremont, Michigan.

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