Daily D – 2 Kings 5:13
But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” 2 KINGS 5:13 (NLT)
COVID has complicated many things. Air travel is more complicated. Work is complicated. Having a loved one in the hospital is complicated. A pastor told my coworker and me about a little boy in his church who fell out of a second-story window and crushed his head. He had emergency surgery and was in the hospital for weeks but could not have visitors.
Going anywhere in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex requires a face covering. Going to the grocery store for a loaf of bread because you had to eat Ritz crackers and peanut butter for lunch yesterday? Wear a facemask. Getting some extra chunky peanut butter because you ate all of that, too? Keep your facemask on as you walk the aisles of the grocery store.
Going to church on Sunday? Please register in advance because only a limited crowd may attend. Oh yeah, and wear a facemask. Do not shake hands with anyone. Thou shalt not give holy hugs. Sit only in the designated spaces. Keep your six-foot bubble in place at all times.
There is no EASY button for COVID. Wanna Get Away? Southwest Airlines will take you, and they have a nice fare sale going on, but remember to bring lots of hand sanitizer, wipes, and a facemask.
Life feels harder than it has to be right now. One of the reasons it feels this way, indeed that it is this way, is that some people know their rights and demand them. They will not be forced to wear a facemask. Becoming a modern-day Typhoid Mary or Mark never really crosses their minds. After all, they are the exception to every rule.
Paul Harvey used to say, “Self-government will not work without self-discipline.” The last couple of months have demonstrated the truth of this statement. Pandemic and protest have met and accelerated the spread of this dread virus to all kinds of people of all ages. The number of cases dramatically declined when everyone followed the wise guidance of medical professionals who are specialists in contagious disease. What would happen if we followed their guidance again? It’s not that hard to imagine.
Naaman had a skin disease. He was the commander of Aram’s army. He heard about Elisha from a girl taken as a captive. The king of Aram sent him to see Elisha. Elisha told him to go to the Jordan River and dip himself seven times. Naaman was upset. He thought Elisha would make a big show out of it. He expected arms waving, shouts to heaven, and dramatic flashes of heavenly light. Instead, Elisha did not even step out of the house to greet Naaman. Indeed, he sent someone outside to give Naaman simple words of instruction.
Naaman was ticked off. Wash in the muddy water of the Jordan? There were two superior rivers where he came from. Dip seven times? Play a solitaire version of Marco Polo? And look like an idiot doing it?
But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’”
So Naaman sucked up his pride and took a bath. He was cleansed and healed from head to toe. He was humbled. He was extravagantly grateful.
It wasn’t that complicated. Why make it harder than it had to be? All he had to do was get all wet and bob up and down like a cork on a fishing line.
All we have to do to reverse the spread of COVID is wear a mask, wash our hands, and stay home as much as possible. That’s exactly what I plan to do right after I go to Kroger for some more bread and peanut butter. Where did I leave my facemask?
I will practice self-discipline in deference to others.
Our Father, pride makes us turn simple things into significant complications. Deliver us from pride and all its complications. Empower us to discipline ourselves so that we do not harm another with our liberty and are not harmed by the liberty of others. Remind us as often as necessary how rights are always accompanied by responsibilities. Make us part of the solution and not part of the problem. Amen.
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Psalm 147:10, 11 He is not impressed by the strength of a horse; he does not value the power of a warrior. The LORD values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love.
Matthew 6:25, 33 “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. (CSB)
Proverbs 17:27, 28 The one who has knowledge restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a person of understanding. Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps silent — discerning, when he seals his lips. (CSB)