by Shonda Savage
“But Naaman went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy’” (2 Kings 5:11 NIV).
For over three years I suffered from monthly hormonal migraines, two days in a row, right on time. Agonizing, nauseating, pounding headaches. I sought medical help to no avail. Over the counter medications, prescription medications, herbal remedies—nothing worked. I prayed. Others prayed too.
A local church announced a Friday night healing service in the newspaper. I attended with a nauseating migraine and stood in line for a healing prayer, expecting the miraculous. When it was my turn, the guest pastor quietly prayed with me. He didn’t pray a loud commanding prayer, wave his hands over my head, or call on other intercessors to gather around. Only a private, simple prayer. Like Naaman, anger rose up inside my being. I envisioned immediate deliverance from my pain and suffering, after all it was a healing service.
Naaman yearned to be cured of leprosy. His wife’s servant suggested he see the prophet Elisha in Israel for healing. Naaman traveled to Israel with a letter from his king requesting the king of Israel heal Naaman’s leprosy. Israel’s king tore his clothes and stated, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of leprosy?”
When Elisha heard of the king’s distress, he asked for Naaman to come to him. Upon his arrival, Elisha sent a messenger to the door and said to Naaman, “Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
Naaman left angry. I imagine he felt like he was on a wild goose chase. He expected Elisha to call on the name of the Lord and he would be instantly cured of leprosy. Naaman’s servant convinced him to follow the prophet’s instructions in spite of how he felt. And Naaman did follow the mandate instead of his feelings. So when he dipped seven times in the Jordan as directed, he was healed.
Like Naaman’s servant, a godly friend came to me me and convinced me to see the doctor again. I went out of obedience, and was prescribed different medication. For the first month, things looked worse, but after two months the migraines subsided. Eventually, I went off the meds and learned to make healthier lifestyle choices and recognized foods that triggered the migraines.
Like Naaman chose to follow the instructions from the man of God, I had to choose to follow God’s instructions for me. Trusting Him, I laid down my expectations of how healing should come to pass. Thankfully, now for more than five years since that healing service, I function most months without migraines. If a migraine comes on, then I realize I failed to follow God’s directions for me.
Have you set up expectations about how God should work in your life? It’s time to let go those assumptions and trust God to work in His ways for He does more than we can ever think or imagine.
Shonda Savage loves to encourage people to deepen their roots in Jesus with both spoken and written words. Speaking at conferences and retreats, Shonda connects with the audience through her personal triumphs and tribulations. Shonda writes for both print and online publications and she is the author of the Bible study, Wild Grace: Experiencing Your Spiritual Splendor.