He was a mighty warrior. General of the entire army. Had the respect and favor of the king. People feared him. The Lord blessed him in victory over his enemies. He was the Alpha Male of his day. He had it all. But …
Yes, there is a but. This man was a leper.
In his day, over 2600 years ago, this was huge. And even today, we rarely talk about him for his accomplishments, his conquests, his status … we talk about the ‘but’ … for you can list all the great things about him you want, but he was a leper.
Now the narrative has so many nuances, so many truths and concepts to challenge us. But get this, he was defined by brokenness, his flaws, his shame. His name, Naaman. Naaman – general, honored one, man of valor – was a leper.
Now, a young slave girl, a girl that was captured due to her nation being defeated militarily, spoke to her mistress, the wife of Naaman. She set in motion a series of events that eventually led to Naaman to the house of God’s man, Elisha. And eventually, Naaman took Elisha’s advice and was healed. Naaman’s skin became smooth and like new.
Now, we know Naaman as the man healed from being a leper, the man whose life changed by the power and grace and mercy of God Naaman humbled himself, turned form his arrogance, his pride, his way of thinking that he could earn, deserve, buy, or influence his healing. He turned in obedience to the word for the Lord … and was healed.
Now, Naaman is known as one who had an encounter with the loving and healing God of everything. Naaman, the leper who was healed by God.
I challenge you to think of what defines you. Not what the world always sees, but the real you. List all your good deeds you want, but there is always a ‘but’ … broken from bad choices, scarred from the brutality of life, hurting from abusive relationships, in bondage to debts, habits, circumstances? Living in fear? Trapped by your past?
Let me give you a word of wisdom …
Don’t let your past define your future.
God can heal your brokenness, free you from your bondage, make new your circumstances. He can even use your past in making a better future. Your are not defined by who you were, when you have the personal encounter with the loving God, you are changed … forever.
Let 2021 be that year.