Turning Points

Jim Mead

READ : 2 Kings 5

So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan . . . and he was clean. (v. 14)

When I was a pastor in Vidalia, Louisiana, my regional denominational office, one hundred miles away, sent me a letter that took many days to arrive. The first two numbers of the zip code had been inverted, sending the letter to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, before someone turned it around in the right direction.

Life leads us down many paths. Sometimes we head in the wrong direction by our own choice, sometimes on the advice of others. The story of Naaman and Gehazi sharply contrasts the directions they chose and the destinations at which they arrived. Naaman thought healing would come in a display of miraculous power, not in an act of submission. Gehazi thought prestige would come through riches, not through service. In the end, Naaman found peace and healing; Gehazi found trouble and shame.

We cannot predict all the consequences of our actions. But God is at work precisely at those places where we must choose, where we can’t see beyond the present. Whatever the turning point may be, the turn itself is most safely made not in an exercise of human strength or ingenuity but by a humble descent into the wisdom and power of God. When in doubt, it’s always best to obey!


Help us, O Lord, to turn to you at life’s turning points.