The capacity embedded in the new year reminds me of the story of Naaman, the Leper. He was a mighty man but limited by the disease called “leprosy”. This implies that he cannot sit with the Mighty and Noble in the land; he cannot be recognized in great gatherings. Whatever good things anybody has to say about him always ended with “but the man is a Leper”. It is a stigma that seems almost permanent and irreversible.
But, under this man’s roof was a little girl from Israel; although a captive of war, she has a heart of gold laced with grace. She wasn’t harbouring the bitterness of being separated from her root and source; rather, she saw the condition of his master and pitied him. She did not stop there; although a little girl, she was old enough to have seen and heard how God had worked wonders through an Enigma and a Colossus in the person of “Elisha the Prophet”.
The damsel suggested to Naaman’s wife that a visit to Elisha the Prophet, will change the narrative. It was a struggle to take the words of the little girl serious however over time, she has shown herself different from her peers. Her conduct and character were always a subject of praise.
After battling with this thought long enough, Naaman decided to give it a trial. He journeyed with his entourage with great expectations and preconceived ways of getting healed. To his greatest amazement, the man of God did not come out to welcome him, “what an insult to his personality!”, he thought. A young man just came out to dish out instructions – “Go and bathe in river Jordan” and that was all.
One of the challenges of the rich and affluent is their wealth. They have high taste and standard. it was a great insult for him to descend so low into the dirty and common water (rivers) of Israel whilst there are other cleaner and classy rivers accessible only to the rich and affluent.
He decided to go home and remain a Leper; but thank God for one of his servants who truly love this man. He advised him saying – “My Lord, I know you have sought solutions in many places and the instructions you were given is even more difficult than this instruction. You have taken bitter pills, you have been awake all night for rituals, you have done many other things without any changes. This instruction from the man of God happens to be the simplest, just do it; there is no harm in trying”. He reasoned with his servant and discovered that the servant was completely right. He reluctantly went to bathe in the river. He must have strategically positioned his servants to guard the entry points of the river to avoid anybody coming and seeing a great man bathing in a common river.
The instruction given to Naaman was to bathe seven times; but with each bath, his leprosy becomes more obvious than ever. His doubt about a common river bringing an uncommon healing resounded within him. Until the final bath when his flesh became new like a baby’s, I can imagine his jubilation. The stigma that has restricted him to only gatherings within his family cycle is now lifted forever. He could almost forget that he was royalty as he rolled in dance and jubilation. A strong man who hardly sheds tears could be seen with tears of joy rolling down his cheeks.
This year make up your mind not to despise anyone no matter how lowly they are placed. The instruction for your next level may be with someone you despise and consider worthless. Seek the face of God and follow his instructions without unnecessary questioning and analysis. The things that will bring about the newness and the turn-around you seek may be the common things that you already know but have not paid attention to.
When you start taking the right step like Naaman did, you may not see result at the first instance but never be deterred or discouraged, just continue. Things will get better very soon, and you will rejoice.
Experiencing the supernatural requires humility. Learn to be humble, don’t be too proud to be blessed, many people have missed opportunities to be blessed because of their pride. Surround yourself with people who truly love you and value them, it is easier to make progress when surrounded by people with genuine interest in you.
May the grace of God make all things new in your life this year in Jesus name
by Ndubuisi Paul Okafor
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