Continued from here.
The honeymoon period with God lasted for several months. I fell in love with God in a way that I cannot put into words. Despite dealing with life’s annoyances and frustrations, I was joyful and peaceful. I fell head-over-heels in love with God.
However, my bliss came to an end when my closest friend ended our seven-year friendship. To say this hurt me is a gross understatement. I loved this friend like a sister and had invested years of love and energy into this friendship. In an instant, she was out of my life, and I was devastated. That devastation rapidly morphed into anger, bitterness, and hatred.
I cried out to God in my anguish. He told me how to heal this, but I wouldn’t listen. I was like Naaman. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Naaman, he was a Gentile with leprosy. He went to the prophet Elisha for healing but rejected Elisha’s answer. To put this story in colloquial terms, he was so miserable in his leprosy that he was willing to do anything for healing … that is, until he heard God’s way of healing him. Rather than do what God said to do for healing, he went off in a rage instead, choosing to live with his leprosy rather than experience healing by doing it God’s way.
How often do we all do this? We cry out to God to heal our fatigue but are unwilling to take a weekly Sabbath day rest. We beg for financial provision but are unwilling to tithe from the funds that God gives us. We pray to God for healing and deliverance but are unwilling to do what He tells us to do to fix the problem, and then we storm off in a rage, accusing God of being unfaithful. This was Naaman’s story, and it was mine.
We all want healing from our leprosy, but we don’t want to do it God’s way – we want to do it on our own terms. God doesn’t work like that. While we say we are willing to do anything to be free, what we really want is for God to wave a magic wand and miraculously change our circumstances without us having change ourselves. That’s not how God works. God is quite capable of healing your pain, just as he healed Naaman’s physical and my emotional leprosy. But He requires us to do it His way.
In the Bible, God has provided us with very clear instructions for how to heal the emotional leprosy of betrayal as well as its fruit: the bitterness, rage, hatred, anxiety, and shame. That vehicle is forgiveness.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace on her knees, punching her fist in the air while yelling, “Noooooo.” Courtesy of Bitmoji.]