The Man Called "Fool"
5 Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.[a] 2 Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels[c] of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 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! 8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
Here is have a commander decorated will as many accolades as you can imagine, and his reputation is known throughout the kingdom. He had anything a man could want riches, fame, authority, and the list goes on and on. However, there was one little word hooked to his name that made all this pointless. In verse one “He was a valiant soldier, BUT he had leprosy. This small three-letter word had huge implications for Naaman. It in essence was a death sentence. There was no amount of money, prestige, or fame that could rid him of this horrible, painful, alienating disease. It is believed that Naaman was showing only slight symptoms on the outside, allowing him to still serve the king. Nevertheless, he knew one day he would not be able to hide the secret he kept buried under robes and distinguished medals. Naaman experienced hopelessness, as he waited for his body to betray him and reveal his secret. Aren’t we like him in so many ways? People carry around secrets and are always hoping no one will find out? Don’t we hope our diplomas, money, or prestige will help us keep it all together. As I looked at all the first day back to school pictures with their perfect props, lightning, and smiles, I always remember that there are sometimes tragic stories, heartache, and hard times behind the smiles and poses. Sometimes it takes so much effort to hide our real problems, which we almost buy into the fact they will some how resolve on their own.
Although Naaman had no idea the answer to his dilemma was living within the shadows of his own home, a young slave girl went about her daily chores in a foreign country, with knowledge of the true healer. The men who served under Naaman had taken the girl from her people, her country, Israel. Don’t miss this part of the story! This servant girl had every reason to be bitter, discouraged, and display a bad attitude, but in this passage, she is giving helpful wisdom to her mistress. She knows that help comes from the almighty God and tries to guide them to the Lord through the prophet Elisha. What an amazing testimony of the slave girl. Her circumstance did not define her attitude. When the king heard of the possibility of healing, he immediately began to write a letter on the behalf of Naaman. King Aram wrote a letter imploring the King of Israel to heal his right-hand man. There was a large problem with this- the king of Israel had no healing powers. Instead of seeking the God the servant girl spoke about, the King began to look horizontally for the answer. King Aram was expecting the King of Israel to be God, and then when he could not perform the task, the King of Israel knew King Aram would be disappointed, angry, and frustrated. So many times, in life we misplace our burdens onto those around us eventually crushing them, because the load was never meant for them to bear, only God. No one can ever be God for us! Man can never fill the space that only God was created to satisfy. Let’s camp out in this area for a few minutes and hear my heart. I believe that most people have been disillusioned to the fact that someone else is supposed to make them happy, solve their problems, or be their miracle. In marriages today so many fails because people look to their partner to fulfill so many roles that only God can supply. When we place such high pressure on a spouse, some will tap out before they ever get started. The same is true for children. We cannot depend on our kids to make us happy, fulfill our every moment, or live vicariously through them, because one day they will be grown and gone. God wants us to look up to Him. Psalm 46:10 says, “be still and know that I am God.” He wants us to know that he in fact can handle every situation, every emotion, and every tear. He sees the beginning and the end and can guide your life to its fullest if you will just let go of the death grip and release your life to Him. As I sit and write this to you today God is very much teaching my family to cast all our burdens on him. We have a custody hearing for a 3-year-old and a 22-month-old that have been living with us for the past 5 months. Obviously, we believe selfishly, the kids should stay in our home where they are growing, thriving, and settling into a routine. However, we do not have that control. So as we sit in the courtroom waiting for this safety plan to be turned into something different it will go one of two ways, custody or foster care. We have agonized over this for weeks by fasting, praying, and asking others to pray. Recently I felt like a basket case and the Lord softly whispered to me, “Do you know me? Do you trust me? If you do cast your burden upon me and I will sustain you; I will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” So today we go into court with the confidence that our Lord sees every piece to the puzzle, and He will do whatever is best for those children, even if it means not coming home with us. What burden are you trying to place on someone else to carry today?
What burden are you carrying? The Lord said we should help bear one another’s burdens, but that does not mean someone else is responsible for the outcome; only the Lord can bear that type of weight. Are you looking horizontal instead of vertical to help solve your problems? The Lord is waiting for you to call upon His name “cast your burdens on Him and He will give you rest.”