“But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, ‘Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.’” (2 Kings 5:11).
The man was great, a commander in his nation’s army, favored by his king. Everything he did was successful. He prospered in every pursuit.
Still, he was a leper. This blemish was his daily reality. For all his success, he had this sickness.
A servant girl, likely captured in a battle, was of Hebrew descent. She told her master of a prophet in Israel who could heal him of his leprosy. So Naaman went to Israel in search of healing.
When he finally arrived, Elisha behaved contrary to Naaman's expectations. Elisha did not come out, but sent his servant. Elisha did not eloquently call down the power of God, but spoke through his messenger. Elisha did not wave his hand, but told him to wash in the Jordan.
This infuriated Naaman. He set out to depart for home. Fortunately, his servants pointed out to him that Elisha had said, "Wash, and be clean." Healing was promised. The way the healing came was unimportant. That it came at all was the wonderful part. Naaman went to the Jordan, humbled himself, and was healed.
Why was Naaman so furious? Why did wrath come from his heart when Elisha did not behave as he expected him to? Naaman behaved this way due to pride.
Naaman thought he deserved more. Naaman believed he was worth a spectacle, a face-to-face visit with the prophet, or at least a washing in his country’s more powerful rivers. But God was looking for a humble man.
Often, when we are angry at the way something is going, it is because of our pride. We think we deserve better. We think God should act in a certain way toward us, that we ought to prosper, or have health, or see great successes. But this isn’t always the plan of God.
We need to lower ourselves. We must come under His plan and purpose, even when it knocks us off our high horse.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you." (1 Peter 5:6).