Poster Child

Healing Naaman and Me – Part 4

I love this popular definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I was the poster child for that definition for most of my life. I stayed in my comfort zone and kept trying the same things the same way time after time after time. And for some reason, I was surprised when I kept getting the same results.

In our story, Naaman has decided to stay in his comfort zone and follow his boss’s suggestion. Instead of going to a lowly prophet in Samaria for healing, he took a large payment and went straight to the top. The king of Israel.

I believe my healing is a job for God and me. And your healing is a job for God and you. And Naaman’s healing was a job for God and Naaman.

When we’re hurting we need to ask God for direction and then go where He leads us. Sometimes it may be to a therapist. Sometimes to a 12-step group. Possibly to a chiropractor or naturopath. Or it may involve a physician or a surgeon or medication.

Healing . . . whether it’s mental or physical or emotional . . . is God’s work. But we have to cooperate. We have to take responsibility for our part – which is following God’s directions.

I also believe in miraculous, out of the blue, instantaneous healing straight from Heaven! But I believe those incidences are fewer and farther between than the mercy-filled, day after day, difficult, God-dependent healing He wants to do in us.

God had given Naaman clear direction through the servant girl. And now, based on a new direction suggested by his master, Naaman is shifting the responsibility for his healing from God (through God’s prophet) to the king of Israel.

And the king of Israel is annoyed!

II 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!”

For decades I lived my life mired in dysfunction. Co-dependency to be exact. I didn’t know how to distinguish between my responsibilities and the responsibilities of the people around me.

I frequently took over their responsibilities without being asked. That usually didn’t upset them too much. But I also turned some of my most basic responsibilities over to them!

And that didn’t always go over very well!

It’s so easy to see now, but at the time I was so dysfunctional that I actually thought that was how life worked. Even though it wasn’t working very well for me! But I kept trying. Can we all say INSANITY?

I think Naaman made the same mistake. He turned over the responsibility for the decision about his healing to his boss and then to the king of Israel. His boss did things the way he always did. And the king of Israel got angry because he was expected to do something he wasn’t capable of doing!

Shifting the responsibility for life decisions, including our healing, may make us feel relieved in the short-term. It’s in someone else’s hands. It’s not up to us. But the relief is only temporary and the healing process is prolonged and misunderstandings are created.

Expecting someone else to take responsibility for fixing us is asking for trouble. No one else can fix you. A therapist can’t, although they can help you start to recognize your issues and what you need to do to change. A 12-step group can’t, although they can be a great source of direction and encouragement. Your spouse can’t fix you. Neither can your boss, or your children, or your parents, or your friends.

As I said earlier, I believe your healing is a job for God and you. You cooperate with the process He leads you to and through. You do the required work. He does the healing.

And the flip side of that coin is that you can’t fix anyone else! No matter what your position is or how much education or experience you have. No matter how much you love a person and can see what they need to do.

You. Can’t. Fix. Them.

And when someone else expects you to fix them, it’s very frustrating. Just ask the king of Israel! You are no longer just responsible for your own life . . . they’re holding you responsible for theirs, too.

Someone is expecting you to do something you don’t have the power to do.

I think that’s how the king of Israel felt when he read the letter from the king of Aram.

And to top it off, Namaan brought with him a generous payment for the healing he was asking the king of Israel to perform. How exasperating!

Healing is not a transaction. Our status and ability to pay don’t secure our healing. The tools God uses to heal us may cost us monetarily. But His healing isn’t for sale.

Healing is a process. It’s usually a process in uncharted territory outside of our comfort zone and almost always takes longer than we think it should.

But I’m getting ahead of the story.

For now, we have to take responsibility for our own healing. And since God is the one that heals, we need to rely on Him to lead us to and through the process He chooses for us and cooperate with Him every step of the way.

Trying to pass our responsibility on to anyone else is useless.

Unless you want to take my place as the poster child for that definition of insanity.

© Rhonda Fleming, 2013

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