“Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal.” (2 Kings 5:10)

Doesn’t Elisha’s method of heal­ing sound like the infomercials that tend to populate late-night tele­vision? All we have to do is drink a cup of tea with an exotic fruit extract from the Amazon, and fifteen pounds of fat will immediately melt off our bodies! No wonder Naaman found it hard to believe! Besides, he was very sick. Leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, as we now know it, is a tragic degenerative disease that eats away at its victim’s flesh, leading to a slow and painful death. This was not something to be treated lightly.

Naaman was a valiant, respected army commander. A brilliant strate­gist and a seasoned fighter, he was a doer, a results-oriented man of action. He was not about to fall for some health-and-wellness miracle cure.

So Naaman went away upset. He thought that at the very least Elisha would come and meet with him, invoke the name of the Lord, and pray over him for healing. But all he got was an impersonal mes­sage telling him to dunk himself in the shallow waters of the Jordan, a minor river compared to the powerful waterways of Naaman’s home in Aram. Fortunately, Naaman’s servants prevailed upon him to heed Elisha’s advice. What did he have to lose? And when Naaman complied, he was com­pletely healed—and he professed his faith in the God of Israel!

Like Naaman, we too can be tempted to discount the possibility of God working through some­thing that seems either ordinary or downright silly to us. But think about it: We believe that a small wafer of bread can become the body of Christ—with all the power to change our hearts and unite us to God. So why can’t we think that blessing ourselves with holy water or saying ten Hail Marys in a row can make a difference? Or why would we think that just ten min­utes a day of reading Scripture is a pointless and fruitless exercise? God can work wonders! Let’s believe that God rewards us a hundredfold every time that we turn to him. He is our heavenly Father, and he loves to bless us!

“Father, teach me your ways, for you are trustworthy!”

Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4; Luke 4:24-30