The Long Way Home

Healing Naaman and Me – Part 8

Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” – 2 Kings 5:15

When Naaman left Aram back in verse 5, he had one goal: to be healed of his leprosy.

And that’s usually our goal when we begin our journey toward healing and recovery. We just want everything back to ‘normal’ . . . whatever that looks like. We want our issue to be gone . . . our ‘but’ to be taken away. (See “What’s Your ‘But’?” post if this doesn’t make sense.)

However, God usually has a different goal.

And by usually I mean always.

God doesn’t enjoy us being in pain. But if we are in pain, God will definitely use it for His holy purposes.

I believe one of God’s main goals for our lives is for us to KNOW HIM. He wants an intimate relationship with each one of us. He wants us to get to know Him . . . to learn about His character . . . to find out how much He loves every one of us.

And He’s willing to use extreme measures to encourage us to build that relationship with Him.

After I had attended Co-Dependents Anonymous meetings every week for over a year, I felt like a different person. I had learned a lot about myself and my ‘but’ and I looked at life and relationships differently than I ever had before. I looked forward to the future and had developed healthier relationships than I’d ever had in my life.

But there was something missing. I knew in my heart that there was something more for me to do with my life. I knew there was a purpose that God wanted me to fulfill. And I was willing to do it.

There was just one problem. I didn’t have a clue what it was!

So I prayed. And I prayed. And I begged God to tell me. And I pleaded with Him. But I couldn’t get an answer.

It didn’t make sense to me. Here I was telling God that I was willing to do whatever it was He wanted me to do. Yet He wouldn’t tell me what it was.

Frustrated doesn’t begin to explain how I felt.

I remember praying that if God would just write out what He wanted me to do in the sky, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it. Or He could just send me a letter . . . or an email! Just do something, God, to let me know what it is that I’m desiring so hard to do!

I spent hours reading His Word, talking to Him about everything in my life . . . especially about Him letting me in on whatever purpose it was that He had burned into my heart.

In the meantime, I got involved with women’s Bible studies at my church. Eventually shy, quiet Rhonda who previously had no self-worth or self-esteem or self-confidence . . . and who previously wouldn’t talk if more than one person was around . . . began facilitating Bible studies.

That was WAY outside my comfort zone!

Eventually I was asked to write a Bible study, which I then co-led with one of the pastors of my church. I was asked to ghostwrite the incredible life story of one of our members.

And I started speaking to women’s groups. I spoke at women’s retreats and special events.

And then it hit me . . . all of this was the purpose God had placed in my heart.

He hadn’t written it in the sky or sent it in the mail. He had led me to it step-by-step over the course of a few years.

And the end result wasn’t just that I was finally fulfilling the purpose He created me for. The real end result was an intimate relationship with God that I could never have imagined.

You see, all those hours spent reading and studying His word looking for his will for me. All those prayers begging and pleading Him to let me in on His purpose for my life. All the seeking to find what it was He wanted me to do. All of that was His way of pulling me closer and closer to Him. Until I was so close that doing what He designed me to do was second nature.

And also second place in my life. Second only to my relationship with Him.

I don’t believe God’s major goal for our life is our healing. Or even fulfilling the purpose He created us for.

I believe His major goal for our life is an intimate relationship with Him. He wants us to know Him.

That’s His goal for me. That’s his goal for you.

And that was His goal for Naaman.

And God’s not in a hurry because intimate relationships take time.

Look at Naaman’s journey for instance.

  • Naaman’s army invaded Israel.
  • A young Israeli girl was taken captive.
  • This young girl was assigned to attend Naaman’s wife.
  • Naaman contracted leprosy.
  • The servant girl told Naaman’s wife that there was healing available through Elisha.
  • The king of Aram sent Naaman to the king of Israel for healing instead of to Elisha.
  • The reaction of Israel’s king sent Naaman further out of his comfort zone to be healed.
  • Elisha gave Naaman directions to his path for healing and restoration.
  • Naaman’s servants encouraged him to follow through with those directions.
  • God was faithful and healed Naaman when Naaman obeyed.

But the ultimate result of this journey is found in verse 15.

It’s not Naaman’s healing. It’s not the restoration of his body. It’s not his cleansing.

The ultimate result of the journey Naaman took is that he now knows that there is only one true God . . . the God of Israel.

That’s it. That was God’s purpose for Naaman’s journey. To get to know God.

God used everything in Naaman’s situation to bring Naaman into a relationship with Him.

And God wants to use everything in your situation to bring you into a closer relationship with Him. I believe that’s His main purpose for your current journey.

God’s goal for whatever ‘but’ is in your life is an intimate relationship with Him. For you to KNOW HIM. Healing may come sooner or later, but God’s focus is on your heart and on focusing your attention on your relationship with Him.

Wherever you are in your journey right now, remember . . . God has a plan for your situation. A plan that will bring you into a closer relationship with Him.

Your problem hasn’t caught Him off guard. He’s not scrambling to come up with a solution.

In fact, He had a plan before you even knew you had a ‘but’!

Surrender to His plan. Accept that your healing more than likely won’t be instantaneous. It will take you further out of your comfort zone than you want to go. It will take longer than you think it should. And it will cost more than you want to pay.

But also remember that the life you will live down the road will be worth the trip. The relationships you have will be priceless. The accomplishments you experience will be unbelievably fulfilling.

But most importantly, the relationship with God that is available through this process is more satisfying than anything else on this planet.

Let go of whatever is holding you back and take the next step on your path to healing and recovery.

I’ll see you down the road!

© Rhonda Fleming, 2013

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