Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: ‘Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. Your skin will be healed and you’ll be good as new.’ Naaman lost his temper. He stomped off, mad as a hornet. (2 Kings 5:10-12, MSG)
Are you a “Burger King” Christian? Want everything your way?
I was. I remember occasions in my work when God was answering a prayer that I didn’t even recognize, because it didn’t look like what I imagined.
How about you? Are you waiting for prayers to be answered in your work?
Does it seem like God must be on vacation because you don’t see any response, or at least the response you wanted?
Naaman was a general who suffered from leprosy. Elisha heard he was looking for a cure so he sent the message for Naaman to immerse himself in the River Jordan seven times.
Naaman expected a different kind of miracle event than dunking himself in the nasty River Jordan seven times. You know, something more respectable for a general of his stature like pay a large sum to a local charity. Some act out of the reach of the average person.
So when Elisha sent word—didn’t even show up personally, but sent word—that something as simple yet humiliating was required, Naaman got mad and refused to obey. Took his money and leprosy and headed home.
God gave me a message at work once that I was going to reach many people in his name. I just knew this meant a promotion to Vice President. I mean, how else could I reach many more people? Consequently, I prayed daily expecting the promotion to arrive any minute.
It never did.
I was disappointed, distressed, and yes, angry. What was God doing, just toying with my emotions?
Sure felt like it at the time.
Turns out God had a better plan than mine.
First, he inspired me to study theology, which I did even completing a master’s degree. Next, he increased the number of people I shared my faith with at work. Then he dissolved the position I had with the company, making it possible for me to do what I’m doing today; which includes writing this blog.
Did he keep his promise? Oh yes, down to the smallest detail.
Today, I’m reaching more people with the gospel message than I ever would have if I had received that promotion.
God knows more than I do about how to best accomplish his work for me.
I’m to focus on the “what” instead of the “how.”
Some friends stopped Naaman as he headed home and encouraged him to do what the prophet told him. He did and his skin was healed . . . God’s way.
Now what about your work prayer that seems unanswered?
Are you focused on the “what?” Or, the “how?”
Ask God for the grace to see how he is currently working through you and others to answer your prayer in a way that is bigger and more magnified than you can think or ask.
Avoid pitching a Naaman-tantrum like I did.
Believe that your answer, God’s way—better than your way—is on the way right now.
Mike Van Vranken
What prayer would you have God answer—his way—at work today?
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