Last week I just happened to stumble across the story of Naaman, the account of a Syrian army captain who had acquired leprosy. Having travelled far to see Elisha, he thought he would receive royal treatment; he thought he would be healed dramatically. Instead, Elisha sent a servant out to meet him who told him to plunge in the muddy Jordan 7 times. Naaman refused. It was beneath him. Fortunately for him, his servants convinced him to do what Elisha had required (2 Kings 5:13). He was healed.
Naaman’s story has taught me something about having preconceived ideas. Before his cleansing, Naaman “thought he knew” how God works. And in that, he almost lost God's blessing. We can get into a lot of trouble thinking we know.
After retiring from my government career nearly 4 years ago, I thought my life would follow a certain familiar pattern. But God had other plans. I wish I could tell you I was quick to embrace God’s way, that I didn't see it as an interruption of 'my' plans. But God was graciously pushing me to new heights by introducing things beyond my control; I was kept from “resting on my laurels” by carefully calculated “divine disturbances,” that interfered (thank God) with 'my' plans. I thought I knew. Ha!