July 3. 2 Kings 5 - 8
Expectation and Experiencing the Experience
Expectation can be a liar. Many times I have gone into situations with a certain expectation of how everything will play out. And many times this expectation has blinded me from being present in the moment and being open to what God wants to do in and through me. Expectation tells me that I know how everything should go. Being present in the moment tells me that I am simply open to what God has in store, whatever that may bring. When my pride gets in the way and I feel like I know how and why things should happen, I can easily miss the blessings God has for me. Expectation can keep us from experiencing the experience of God.
In 2 Kings 5:11-12, we see an example of an Aramean man named Naaman who almost lost the chance to be healed of leprosy because of his expectations. His pride told him what to expect and he nearly missed out on a miraculous blessing. Naaman went to the prophet Elisha’s house to be healed and Elisha sends him a messenger with instructions to wash seven times in the Jordan river in order to be healed. Naaman was not satisfied with the message.
“11 But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! 12 Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.” 2 Kings 5:11-12
Fortunately, Naaman’s officers reasoned with him and convinced him that he should do as he was instructed and Naaman complies. Then he is miraculously healed.
How many times have I missed incredible blessings that God has for me because I let my expectations blind and cloud my judgment and keep me from obedience? When God speaks, sometimes it seems ridiculous. Sometimes it seems too easy. Other times, too difficult. No matter the emotion or circumstance we may experience, it is my prayer that I will not allow my expectation of how the situation should play out to prevent me from hearing and obeying. If there is anything I have learned about God’s timing and methods, it is that they seldom, if ever, can be predicted. We don't have it figured out. Often times, the mystery of who God is and how He works appears as foolishness. May we be sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit and may we not let our pride and expectations keep us from experiencing His blessings.