Recently, I’ve been doing my daily reading in 2 Kings and really focusing on Elisha and as I was reading I came across a passage that’s summed up my life for the last year plus. And then later in the night I stumbled upon a quote that tied the passage even more so to my life. Coincidence? I’m saying God is good and was trying to tell me something.
Before I jump into that passage I’m going to give you a little back story of my last year. If you know me, you know that I love the game of baseball. I’ve had aspirations to play professionally since I knew what the game was and that hasn’t changed. I was a junior in school and I was pitching the best of my life and all signs pointed toward me getting to fulfill one of my dreams of moving on to the next level. Then I got injured and although I still got some opportunities to play professionally I felt it was in my best interest to go back to school. Moving forward to this year, I lived a ‘whatever could go wrong, did go wrong’ life. From minor injuries to sickness to poor performance on the field and issues with different people. I ended up going undrafted and then went to Cape Cod to try to earn a free agent deal. Didn’t get one of those either. So I was put in a predicament of either hang it up or go back to school and I’m not a fan of going to class so that option sounded miserable. (There were other reasons as well) And so I prayed a lot and got in the word and God told me, Josh, you need to go back one more year, you’re not finished yet. At first, I was really upset by this. I thought, “God, why would you tease me before with my dream and then not allow me to have it, and then make my dream seem like it’s never going to happen the next year? Now I have to try to do this an even harder way if I’m going to make it.”
God replied back with putting someone pretty special in my life and we were able to talk it over and I walked away with a different perspective. And then shortly after that is when I read the story about Elisha and Naaman in 2 Kings chapter 5. Naaman was a military captain who had leprosy. He is told that there is a man in Israel named Elisha that might be able to heal him, so he and his entourage leave to find him. Once he finds Elisha he expects him to wave his hand over the spot and take away the leprosy, but Elisha doesn’t do that, but instead tells Naaman to do something that he has no interest in doing and something he thinks is crazy. Elisha tells him to go and dunk himself into the Jordan seven times and he will be healed. Naaman gets really upset and leaves, but his entourage encourages him to do what Elisha said so he does and is cleansed.
I laughed when I read this. There’s nothing funny about the story, but it was response number two from God and one of those “touché, God” moments. I, like Naaman had to overcome some obstacles, thankfully mine wasn’t leprosy. And we were both being told to do something that seemed crazy and ridiculous and we wanted what we wanted the easy way and now. We had issues humbling ourselves to submit to God’s way. But God had a different plan and different motives for doing things the way he did. We aren’t in charge, God is, and like Isaiah 55:8 tells us, God’s ways are not our ways.
And that’s when God gave me response number three that was the haymaker and completely gave me a new perspective. The quote I found going through my twitter feed was, “Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” It was the final piece I needed to hear that instantly brought me to prayer apologizing for getting so upset at him before. As I said before, I love baseball, and sometimes I lose sight that God doesn’t care much about me as a baseball player, he cares about who I am. I’ve been so caught up in becoming a professional baseball player that I’ve at times sacrificed who I was and became a person through the years that I’m not. I wasn’t kidding in my previous blog about being the biggest sinner of them all. I let God down on a daily basis and have my issues with sin. But what I missed all along was that God wants me to unbecome all those things I’m not so I can be who he made me to be. Even in the story, Naaman confesses to Elisha after he is cleansed that there is one God, and that’s the God we serve, and he wants forgiveness for all his idol worship and the sins he’s committed. God’s methods and plan for Naaman when he Cleansed him was for him to cleanse him of idol worship and bring him closer to him. To realize Baal is no god, only the God of heaven and earth is.
So sometimes God can take us through routes that seem crazy or ridiculous, but they are the perfect way. I’m not saying that I’m going to change over night, but now I know what God wants of me and for everyone. To be who he made us to be. Nothing else matters. It’s not an easy road and I know that I’m going to have a tough road ahead, but at least now I can go in on the same page as God, with his plan at the forefront, not mine. Be who he wants you to be and you never know what you could become, but trust me, it will be great!