Be still and know that I am God.
There's a story in the Bible that I love to read. It's from 2 Kings and it goes like this....
2 Kings 5:1-14 (NIV)
1Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. a
2Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
4Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5“By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents b of silver, six thousand shekels c of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”
7As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”
8When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
11But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
13Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
But Naaman went away angry. We've all be there like Naaman. We go before the Lord asking for a breakthrough, or a big change in our lives only to have Him tell us to do something silly like dip in the Jordan! The rivers of Damascus are so much better than the Jordan. In other words, we find ourselves saying to the Lord my way is better, or why didn't you meet my expectations or do it my way?
Once Naaman obeyed, by the way, he was cleansed. God had a reason why He wanted Naaman to dip in the Jordan. While the Bible doesn't explicitly say why the Lord wanted it to be the Jordan, if you study the Jordan and it's significance you'll learn... it's where Jesus was baptized (among many many other things, like the people crossing the Jordan to get to the promised land- it symbolic of us crossing from death to life). Much of what happens in the OT is symbolic of what was coming under the new covenant. Naaman had his disease healed in the Jordan, the human race had their sins redeemed by the Lamb of God that was baptized in the Jordan. A coincidence? Not a chance, there are no coincidences in God's kingdom.
I've got Good News! Not only is God merciful, so He forgives us when we forget who's God. He's also wise and there's ALWAYS a reason why He does things the way He does. We may have to wait to get to heaven to fully understand the why, but rest assured He has a WHY. So if you are or have been Naaman, go dip in the Joran and stop telling God you know better.
Let's look at a good Biblical example of something strange the Lord asked and the WHY didn't seem apparent, until.... In the book of 1 Samuel 15 the Lord gave a command to King Saul, " 2This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ ” vs. 2&3 NIV.
But..... Saul had his own plans...
7Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. 8He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
Oops. Did God really mean everything? Well fast forward a few hundred years (1000 - 479 b.c.) and now we have a problem, there's an evil man named Haman and he has a plot to destroy the Jews. What does Haman have to do with King Saul? Haman was an Agagite and the son of Hammedatha. That means he was likely the descendent of Agag king of the Amalekites, the people Saul was supposed to totally dispose of. Saul's idea of how things should be done created a problem hundreds of years later. God is good so he redeemed the situation with a wise Jew named Mordecai and his brave cousin Hadassah (Esther). It may not have made sense to Saul why he had to completely wipe out the Amalekites, but it did to God.
Rest assured when the Lord asks you to do something that may not make complete sense or you can think of 1,000 better ways to do something, God's plan is perfect. God is weird, accept that fact. Rather than pursue your relationship with Him with expectations, just enjoy the adventure of the journey He will lead you on.
It's the most refreshing experience to finally, actually, really and intentionally let go and let God. When He's truly in the driver seat we will enjoy the ride of a life time. You can hold on white knuckled, or you can open your arms wide and say "faster Lord" because you know He's got it. Oh and if He takes you off-roading in a Jeep with no top or doors, don't get annoyed when you get dirt on your face- rather smile because dirt on your face means you are actually living.