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One Shift Away
By Joel Osteen - Jun 28, 2013
In Second Kings chapter five, there’s the story of a man named Naaman. He was a captain in the Syrian army and a very influential man, but he had leprosy. One day a young lady who worked for him, a maid at his house said, "Naaman, if you’ll travel to Israel and see the prophet Elisha, he will pray for you, and I know you will be healed."

He took her advice and traveled a great distance to Israel and showed up at Elisha’s house. But when he arrived, Elisha didn’t even get up and go to the door to meet him. Elisha sent his assistant and said, "Go tell Naaman that if he’ll wash in the Jordan River seven times, he’ll be healed of that leprosy."

Well, Naaman was offended that Elisha didn’t take the time to greet him. He had traveled a long way. He was an important military man, and Elisha didn’t even have the courtesy to come to the door to speak with him. Plus, Naaman didn’t want to go wash in the Jordan River. It was a dirty river. Naaman had his own plan. He said in verse 11, "I thought Elisha would come out and wave his hand over me and cure me of my leprosy."

I think those first two words almost kept him from his miracle, "I thought." He had a preconceived idea of how it was going to happen. We’ve all been there.

One of his men said, "Naaman, if he had asked you to do something difficult, you would do it. Why don’t you just do this simple thing?" He finally talked him into it, and Naaman went and washed in the Jordan River. Just as Elisha said, when he came up out of the water the seventh time, his skin was perfectly clean.

How many of us today miss God’s best because we thought it would happen another way? "I thought I would give birth to my children, not adopt them." "I thought I would get well without the treatment." "I thought I’d get that promotion. That’s how I’d be blessed." No, we have to stay open and be submitted to whatever God tells us to do.

When I look back over my life, like Naaman, I have had a lot of "I thoughts." For one, I thought I would be behind the scenes my whole life, not out in front of people! I thought we would build a new sanctuary when Lakewood needed more space, not move into the former Compaq Center where the Rockets used to play. The common denominator in all of my "I thoughts" is that God’s plan was much better than my plan. What God had in mind was much bigger, much more rewarding than anything I dreamed of.

Today, no matter what the circumstances look like, trust God to do things His way. We may not always understand it. It may not be what we thought, but it will always be His best. His ways are always higher than ours. Don’t let logistics hold you back. Trust Him, obey His commands, and embrace the blessings He has in store for you!
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