Friday night I attended a women’s conference where a woman spoke of God‘s great love for us and how God rescues us when we are broken down. I am broken down. I have been for a long time, and I want so desperately to be healed. The woman apologized for not having a pamphlet with the steps through brokenness because there isn’t one. And I can’t help but think, “someone just tell me what to do. It doesn’t matter how hard it is. I will do it. I will do anything.”
And suddenly I’m reminding myself of a story from the Old Testament about an Assyrian named Naaman (2 Kings 5). He had leprosy, the cancer of his day. It was the big L, no one wanted to touch you or talk to you or have anything to do with you in case it was contagious, and beyond that, it was the judgment of God. God must not like you if you were broken like this. When he went to the prophet of God for healing, he was prepared to do any great thing, give up all his wealth, perform a great act of devotion, do something difficult or dangerous—anything to get rid of his leprosy, anything to earn God‘s favor. And all the prophet told him to do was go dip himself in the Jordan River seven times. And Naaman stomped off in a huff.
I wonder if sometimes it would be easier on us broken people if God simply asked us to do something hard. Then we could measure when we had done it, feel a sense of accomplishment when we achieved it, and know that God’s favor has been secured. Sometimes I think the hardest thing in the world to do is the easy thing. Eventually Naaman was convinced by his wise servant that he should just go and do it, easy though it was, and he was healed. I think the thing God asks of me is even easier, which is why I find it so impossible.
God sent His Son to do the hard thing so that I would be left with doing nothing. Nothing to save myself, nothing to heal myself. My healing is only found in Christ. I have the big D (depression), and convinced that no one wants anything to do with me in case I’m contagious, I imagine that I have somehow lost God’s favor. Where did that come from? Not from Him.
This was the verse I was supposed to quote between songs at Friday night’s conference: “This is love: not that we loved God but that He loved us” (1 John 4:10). God asks me to just be loved. The easiest thing in the world; the hardest thing to do. But well worth trying for the rest of my life.