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The blue gumball

As I waited for a To-Go order at a local restaurant, a little boy told his mother he wanted a piece of gum from the gumball machine.


“Are you going to cry if you don’t get a blue one?” she asked.


“No,” he assured her.


“Alright, I’ll let you have a piece, but you can’t choose the color. You have to take whatever you get. No crying if it’s not a blue one. Do you hear?”


He nodded. 


“Are you going to cry if you don’t get a blue gumball?”


He responded with an enthusiastic “No.”


The mother helped her son put the coin in the machine and turn the crank. I don’t know what color he got, but I do know one thing ― it wasn’t blue. 


2 Kings 5: 1-16 records the story of Naaman, a highly esteemed and successful commander in the army of the King of Aram who was afflicted with leprosy. Naaman’s wife’s servant girl from Israel told her there was a prophet in Samaria who could cure him. So with the blessing of the king, Naaman left and sought healing. 


When he arrived at the prophet Elisha’s house, Elisha sent out a messenger. “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored, and you will be cleansed.” 


Naaman was angry because Elisha did not personally come out to call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot, and cure him of leprosy. As for dipping himself seven times in the Jordan, weren’t other rivers in Damascus cleaner? Unwilling to humble himself, Naaman left in a rage. 


Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed!’” Afterward, Naaman dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, and his flesh was restored. Initially, Naaman’s pride led to disappointment, but later, his obedience brought healing. 


How do we respond to disappointment? Are we like Naaman, who sought God’s help but rejected His method? Whenever our paths are difficult, let’s believe God is a God who loves us and will always give us His best. Let’s trust His plan and process, release the reins of control, and be faithful in the small things. May we readily accept what comes our way, knowing any color gumball will do.


“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42 NIV).