December 4: When You Need Healing
The Miracle: 2 Kings 5:1-14
I don’t know how long I had been in the emergency room that September day. Hospital time always seems to be outside the realm of ordinary time. It’s measured by how long between interruptions for someone to check your vitals or to bring you something for pain, or take you back for more x-rays or tests. All I know is that I was very tired and achy and disoriented. I was hearing people talking about taking me for surgery, and that scared me. I was hearing them talk about broken things in my body, and that scared me. I wanted to go home, I wanted out of that thing strapped around my neck, and I desperately wanted a bath and a drink of water- but I was not going to get any of those things that night.
It was a very kind young man who wheeled my bed from the trauma unit to a room. He opened the door and noticed that he had been instructed to take me to a semi-private room- one that was occupied by a very quiet older lady and a television that was quite loud. As he maneuvered the bed into place and proceeded to get everything hooked up, the program that was running on the television caught my attention.
On the screen was a preacher declaring the healing benefits of a vial of water that had come from somewhere with a spiritual connotation. The gentleman on the screen was telling his viewers to send him a “love offering” and he would send them a vial of water that would heal them of any problem they had, and bring them financial blessings as well. I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember looking at the young man who was tending to me and asking him to please not turn on the television speakers on my bed because that preacher was getting on my nerves. The guy looked up at the television and said, “Yes, that’s not the kind of thing I believe in either.” He turned off the television entirely, and the room grew quiet.
When I think about that television preacher and his little vial of water I think about how many people are desperate for healing. They are looking for the dramatic, the magical, and they would spend whatever it takes to get it.
In 2 Kings 5: 1-14 we find the account of Naaman, a great, valiant warrior who suffered from leprosy. The king he served sent him to Israel, because a servant girl had told of a prophet there who could cure him. Once Naaman encountered Elisha the prophet, Elisha told him to go and wash seven times in the Jordan river.
This made Naaman furious! He came all that way, with so much preparation, so much hope built up, only be told to go to the river and bathe.
Naaman had built up an idea of what his miracle, his cure would look like. He said, “I thought, ‘(the prophet) will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure me!’” (verse 11)
Where was the fanfare, the glamour, the magic? He stormed off in a rage, convinced this prophet was nothing more than a hack. What a waste of his time!
But then his servants said to him, “If that prophet had told you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? Why won’t you do this simple thing that he’s told you?”
So, Naaman obeyed. He went to the river and dipped himself seven times, just as Elisha had told him. And he was healed.
There was no fanfare when Jesus was born, except for the appearance of the angels to the shepherds. There was no magic- only the simple birth of a baby- just like millions of babies before Him had been delivered. But it was a birth that was not to be overlooked or brushed off, because this was the birth of the gentle Healer.
What place in your life needs healing today? Maybe your health, a relationship, your finances, or a broken heart. Maybe it’s a place in your life that you feel is too far gone to reach. Remember, Advent is the season of miracles, because the one we are waiting for is a God of miracles. Remind Him of your need today, and be willing to obey whatever He asks of you, even if it doesn’t look like you think it should look.