There have been crucial stages in my life where I expected help to come in particular ways through particular avenues. If I got hurt, these people would help me, surely. If I got stuck, these people would help me, surely. If I was in a mess, these people would help me, surely. Surely, right?
If something went wrong, but I did these things, it would help me, surely. If I needed something and I did these things, it would help me, surely. If the route needed to be reached and I took this path that would help me, surely. Surely, right?
That’s why I can relate to Naaman when he got upset when Elisha didn’t even come out to see him. He was meant to come out, wave his hand and say the holy words and he would be healed, that would help him, surely. Surely, right? Surely not.
Sometimes I don’t even know why it still surprises me, but it does. In as much as there are helpful, conventional methods of support, God is not handcuffed to these methods. As a matter of fact it is almost like He takes delight in choosing awkward, unconventional and sometimes inconvenient methods with which to deliver His desired outcome.
Just when you thought the best thing to do was go to the meeting, sing a few songs, get the announcements, get the offertory in preparation for the main speaker to entertain you for 3o minutes upwards, God turns that upside down. He says the way to hear Him and receive what you need to empower you to godly living is to spend some time in a pub with a few brothers/sisters and just share about what’s going on in your life and see how God weaves in His designs and plans and offers spontaneous healing and restoration in the lives of people who didn’t even believe He was real. No altar call, no praise band, no decisions for Jesus, but the palpable and unmistakable presence of God stirring and transforming lives. No, it’s not what you expected, but it’s how God chooses to do it through those who are far more sensitive to follow Him in life than conventional methods that are pursued for their own sake rather than in obedience to what God says at the time.
Likewise in the issue of growing in knowing Jesus, it doesn’t have to be gift-wrapped in the way you’re accustomed to it. Sure those people you expected to be there were missing, but while you bemoan those who were not there, you often neglect the people who are there. God’s people strategically located to help you, spend time with you, love you, tend to your wounds inside and out, challenge you to focus on Jesus. No, they are not who you expected, but it is how God is helping you.
It may very well not be as you expected. It certainly wasn’t what I expected at all, but thank God, that like Naaman, there are people around who can gently remind us that if God is going to bless and restore you through the unconventional, isn’t it worth following Him for the healing rather than staying in the mess you are in?
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden