“‘Go, wash yourself seven times…and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.’ But Naaman went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely…wave his hand over the spot and cure me…’” 2 Kings 5:10-12.
I love this story and how we can draw application in our own lives today. Poor Naaman had leprosy and was seeking the healing of Elisha, a prophet of God. He had high hopes as he had probably tried everything. He approached Elisha with an expectation of easy and immediate healing, but Elisha required something different from him. Elisha was God’s instrument for communicating the process for curing him. The instructions were to go in and out of the river until the seventh time, at which point he would emerge clean.
In the Bible the number 7 is symbolic of completion and perfection so I started thinking this morning of the implication of our story. Every one of us has something in our flesh that requires healing from God. For me I continuously plunge into the river of performance based approval requiring another dose of medicine from God. He reminds me that I am His daughter and His love will never alter or change based on what I accomplish or fail to accomplish. He urges me to believe that the two are completely disconnected since Christ did it all on the cross. I confidently walk out of the Living Waters onto the shore with resolve and encouragement for a while. Then I find myself back at the banks of the same river requiring additional washing of my soul. It can certainly be frustrating and exhausting working on the same spiritual spots over and over again. Why can’t we just be healed from our flaws? Why can’t God just wave His hand over our spiritual weaknesses and be healed once and for all? I believe the answer is in the process, not the outcome. Without these flaws, we would limit our time with God and lack a certain amount of humility and gratitude for His grace. We would find ourselves acting like a savior instead of searching for our Savior.
I know that I will continue to approach God with versions of the same thing until He takes me home to heaven. Our focus cannot be how many times we go to the Living Waters with our spiritual spot to be healed. The important principle is that we do go to the Living Waters and submerge ourselves in His healing powers. We will always be encouraged and reminded of His ongoing love and provisions when spending time with Him. God is more impressed with our spirit of dependency than our pursuit of perfection. If He waved His spiritual wand and cured our spots He knows that we would limit our time in fellowship and prayer.
Instead, He meets us at the shore, grabs our hand, walks us into the Water as many times as it takes to complete our spiritual journey on earth. Then one fine day…a day finer than all others…we will be cleansed for the last time, the 7th time, and cross the banks of heaven perfect and whole.