Hey Loves! It’s been a while, and if you can’t tell by the title …God has been working on me. As resistant as I want to be, with crossed arms and furrowed eyebrows, I can’t help but drop my shoulders and accept the verbal beating He gives. They didn’t lie when they said correction is sign of being God’s child, but it doesn’t feel good, at all. After sulking before bed, I woke up the next morning with this rebellious desire to be angry with God. After all, my issue is in the failure of others to see they’re hurting themselves. Then when all hell unleashes on their life, here they are, whimpering to me after ignoring everything I said earlier. We’ve all had situations like this happen, most of us were on both sides of the fence. However, I couldn’t get as angry as I had wanted to the night before. I asked the Lord to give me something to study, so that I could gain a better perspective of the situation and change my position and He gave just that.
In 2 Kings 5, we meet Naaman, if you know the story then you, I suggest you go check it out. (it’s pretty good) So, after reading this story a few times, this is what I learned about frustration and how it fights against us if we’re not focused.
Frustration Moves Us
While as frustrating as frustration can be, it can be a change agent if we decide to use it. If your grades are low or your health is poor, typically we change our routine to move things in a favorable position, but for everyone that’s always the case. The change is in the work and for some of us we’re excited for change until it challenges us in a way we’re unfamiliar. Naaman, a man in success in his career and reputation dealt with having leprosy, a contagious, overwhelming skin disease. After hearing a option to be healed from his disease, he is moved to go to his king, who helps provide all he needs to go into another city to appeal to their king to ultimately gain access to Elisha, the prophet to heal him. Hearing there was a even a remedy for his issue, got Naaman up and moving, instead of sinking into doubt and denial. So far so good.
Naaman reaches the home of Elisha. After knocking and expecting Elisha to come out to greet him and begin the healing process, he gets the opposite. Elisha yells through the door instructions for Naaman to go to the Jordan river and wash 7 times and after, he’ll be healed. Naaman gets frustrated, starts to fuss and turns to leave. This is us, or at least this was me. The essence of being frustrated is rooted in satisfaction, being powerless to change what reality into our preference. Apparently, his preference was rooted more in appearance than in genuine healing.
Naaman was a man of power, wealth and respect. He showed up to Elisha’s with an army of his men and one of them had to talk him into doing what Elisha said. He told Naaman, that if Elisha had instructed him to do something tedious he’d done it, so why not do this simple thing? I bring up all of this to say that our expectation can lead us into disappointment and eventually frustration.
When we expect a miracle or promise from God we build an image of what we think that looks like. It becomes our idol, we worship blueprints of our resolution and when it doesn’t happen the way we thought, we’re disappointed. Why? Because it’s not necessarily the miracle but the presentation of the miracle. We think an extravagant demonstration is validation of God’s approval of us because it’ll prove it to everyone else. Naaman admits his expectations, believing Elisha would not only come out to greet him and put on a spectacle of a show by calling on God while waving his hands. All because that’s what healing looks in Naaman’s mind. The end of it all is that Naaman does what Elisha says and is healed and
- Naaman’s expectations got in the way of getting what he always wanted. We’ll miss God trying to define his nature in our understanding.
- Pride was shown in his disappointment from unmet expectations. He Elisha to come out and greet him like a typical greeting. He failed to see the unusual as the environment and time for his miracle to happen.
- His offense was showing. He was also offended at the unusual nature of the instruction. It’s probable Naaman was offended by Elisha’s refusal to come out and meet him due to his skin disease being contagious. His insecurities may have been crying aloud here.
- He was also offended by having to wash in the Jordan river. He expressed disgust and began to compare rivers he felt had better quality of water than Jordan. He could’ve been thinking this water could cause infection or believe Elisha could’ve been saying Naaman is synonymous with the water, being dirty and diseased.
Although a few of the above items are assumptions, it’s safe to say, they were probable thoughts going through Naaman’s head at the time. It’s the same thing we all do. Creating solutions and what they like but failing to realize that’s all we have control over. When things fail to work out to our preference we become angry, especially if we can’t change it. Take a breath, be angry, it’s okay. What’s not okay is acting on anger and having a tantrum instead of using the moment to rest and move forward. As, always, you got this! Take care til next time!