Trust the Process

Have you ever had trouble trusting God through a process?  You know, when you think things should go in a certain direction, or a certain way and they don’t.  When you have been praying for direction, but it seems that the direction you are getting does not make sense.  Well, there is a story in the Old Testament about Naaman who went through something similar in his own life. 

In 2 Kings chapter 5 tells of a story of Naaman who was a commander of the army of the king of Syria.  He was a known as a “mighty man of valor,” but he was a leper, who wanted to be healed.  But, through the words of an Israelite servant that was in the service of his wife, Naaman heard about the prophet Elisha and was told that Elisha would cleanse his leprosy.

So Naaman got a letter from his king as well as his blessing and he sets off for Israel to seek healing. The letter does not reveal that Naaman is looking for Elisha, it just states that he is seeking to be clean.  Naaman arrives in Israel and hands the king the letter. The king of Israel is greatly distressed, tearing his own clothes he says,

2 Kings 5:7

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

Fortunately for the king, Elisha catches word of what has happened. Elisha instructs the king to send Naaman to the prophets house. Now, Naaman expects to be healed by Elisha himself.
Imagine yourself in this situation. You’ve had a crippling disease for your entire life. You’ve finally arrived at the place where you know you can find healing! All you need is for the prophet to come speak it over you.  Your excitement builds as you anxiously await the prophets arrival.  There’s noise on the other side of Elisha’s door. Your moment to meet the man of God has come! Good health is about to be yours.  And what happens next? The prophet is a no-show! The person standing before you is the messenger of Elisha. He does not bring word that the prophet will be arriving soon. No, he brings instructions.

2  Kings 5:10

Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

 So Namaan became angry! The Jordan is a dirty river; the waters of his own home are much cleaner than it. If all Naaman wanted was to be clean, he could have just as easily stayed home and bathed. In a rage, Naaman starts to turn away, unwilling to heed the words of the messenger. Fortunately, Naaman’s servants spoke boldly to their master. They encouraged him to follow the messenger’s instructions, and so he did.

2 Kings 5:13-14

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

 Naaman had certain expectations of how this story was going to begin, continue, and end.  He probably thought that it would be pretty simple: head to Israel, see the prophet, get healed, return to Syria in time for dinner.  But God’s process was quite different. Instead of sending Naaman to the prophet, God sends him to the king, who sends him to Elisha, who sends the messenger in his place, who sends instructions.  And even then, the instructions were not what Naaman expected.

 But look at how the story still ends: with Naaman being healed. I would suppose that Naaman would have died a leper had he not been obedient to wash himself in the Jordan.  God’s purpose was brought about by God’s process. Oftentimes, God’s process looks much differently than we expect.  So, wherever you are at today in the process, trust God.  It may not look like the right direction to you, but God in His own way will get you to where He wants you to be.  Trust the process.