Smart Phones and Dumb Me

As I carried the second load of laundry out to the clothesline, I eyed the sky with concern. Off to the west, dark clouds were gathering. We’d returned the day before from back-to-back trips, and everything we owned, it seemed, was dirty. Clean, really, because it was now sitting damply in my laundry basket.

Debating whether to hang the second load on the line, I remembered one of the apps my daughter had loaded onto my new Smart phone. In seconds I had the 36-hour forecast in front of me. Zero percent chance of rain, the page declared, and I smiled smugly to myself. That was easy. Won’t Kristen be proud of me for remembering to use my technology? How did I make decisions before the IPhone was invented? 

Confident that I had accessed the most up-to-date weather information, I quickly pinned the load of wet clothes to the line and went back to work.

Fifteen minutes later, the bottom dropped out of the sky. 

Rain that would make Noah weigh anchor poured from the sky. The deluge drenched my already-wet laundry so thoroughly that the clothesline drooped under its weight. Towels dragged the ground, vainly trying to absorb more water as giant raindrops splashed dirt onto their edges.

It was a technological and domestic disaster.

But using common sense isn’t always the answer either. Many Christians today take a common sense approach to decision-making that completely excludes biblical wisdom and faith. And the results are much more disastrous than my pile of soggy laundry.

Naaman almost missed a miracle because of common sense thinking. You remember the story: Naaman was a mighty man of valor. The captain of the army of Syria, esteemed by the king, and empowered by God, Naaman had everything a man could want—fame, fortune, respect . . . and leprosy.

Leprosy? Ewwww!

Second Kings Chapter 5 tells the rest. One day a servant girl, taken captive during a raid into Israel, shares with Naaman’s wife that there is a prophet in Israel with the power to perform great miracles. "If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy," she says (5:3).

Like every good wife with a leprous husband, she quickly shares this hopeful news with Naaman, who immediately asks the king for permission to pay Elisha a visit. "”By all means, go,’ the king of Aram replied. ‘I will send a letter to the king of Israel.’ So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing” (5:5).

We can tell from his approach that Naaman was a man of common sense. Step 1 – secure permission from the king. Step 2 – network. Step 3 – bring lots of money. Step 4 – plan exactly what to say. Step 5 – achieve desired results.

All goes well until Elisha upsets the game plan. Obviously he hasn’t read Michael Hyatt’s book on social networking, because he doesn’t accept Naaman’s friend request, answer his FaceTime call, or open the door when he knocks. Unimpressed by Naaman’s fancy chariot, retinue of servants, and American Express Gold Card, Elisha sends an old-school voice mail via his servant: “"Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed” (5:10).

Stinging from the utter dismissal and the ludicrous instructions, Naaman leaves in a huff. "’I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy!” he said. ‘Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?’ So he turned and went off in a rage” (5:11-12).

Common sense told Naaman what a good old-fashioned healing should look like. Prophets' Weekly gave him a good idea how a prophet should operate. And popular opinion dictated how God should work . The only problem was that common sense, extra-biblical literature, and popular opinion leave no room for faith. Or for a God who does the impossible when we believe. “Without faith,” Hebrews 11:6 says, “it is impossible to please God.”

Thankfully, a man of faith traveled with Naaman and offered spiritual counsel. 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'!" (5:13)

“So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy” (5:14).

Naaman not only received physical healing; he received spiritual healing. “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel" he said to Elisha (5:14).

God seldom tells us to completely disregard our intellect, common sense, and knowledge. He does tell us never to become so dependent on facts that we leave no room for faith.

Facts told me there was no hope for my nephew who lay dying in a coma.

Faith said while there is breath there is hope.

Facts told your husband can't afford to go back to school.

Faith said “My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches and glory” (Phil 4:19).

Facts told me her life was ruined, and so was mine.

Faith told me “Fear not. Only believe” (Luke 8:50).

Facts told me their marriage was too broken to fix.

Faith told me, “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

What faith challenge stands before you today? Will you allow the “facts” to rob you of a miracle, or will you jump into the river of faith? 

 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

How have you seen God work in miraculous ways when you've stepped out in faith? I'd love for you to leave a comment below and share your story. For those of you who are reading by email, click here to leave a comment.

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  1. Oh my :)

    I had that happen on a walk with the 2yr old. It went from 10% chance to 50% and raining within an hours time. We were so wet when we got home. :)

    1. HOpefully you laughed about it later, but it's no fun in the moment!

  2. Thank you for your reminder!

  3. Anonymous11:59 PM

    Facts vs. Faith - I love it! :) My husband and I are facing a new challenge, and this was just what I needed to hear. I'm visiting from the Better Mom link-up.

    1. Yes, it's taking our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ rather than letting our emotions carry us away. I pray you and your husband rise to the adventure God's setting before you! Thanks for stopping by today.

  4. God loves to do the "impossible"! I love seeing the wonders He creates!

    Blessings, Joan

  5. Whoa, what a shock! But I've been caught in a downpour on occasion too.

    The year when my husband was out of work we found God to be so faithful. He provided us with all our needs and so many of our wants, as well, lol! ;)

    Thanks for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

    1. We've experienced God's provision in that way too, Nan. While the checkbook never added up, somehow all the bills got paid and we didn't starve. Exceedingly abundantly, he provided for us!

    2. It's always so wonderful to look back on those moments and remember how He has provided just to have a tangible reminder to say "yes, He WILL provide!"

  6. So inspirational, Lori. And I can't ignore the obvious irony in your post today--bringing up how your laundry got dirty, while Naaman didn't want to get "dirty" in the waters of the Jordan and yet that was the very place Jesus would "cleanse" him. Yes, yes, relying on our human wisdom or our technological wisdom will always get us in trouble! Thanks for linking up at Wedded Wed. Always a treat to see you there!

    1. You got it, Beth. And how about that picture of the muddy cow. If I could have photoshopped Naaman into the picture it would have been just perfect!

  7. Greeting, I want to tell you this post was excellent! Funny and so real. I enjoyed this so much!
    Blessings, Roxy

  8. Anonymous11:12 PM

    So much truth with a touch of humor. Reminds me of Hebrews...."By Faith....." Thank you for sharing, stopping by way of Welcome Home Wednesdays.

    1. Sometimes being able to laugh at ourselves gives us the greatest laugh of them all. My granny taught me this, and I'm forever grateful. :)

  9. Just popping back over to say that the new "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party is now live and ready for your posts!

  10. Lori...I loved reading this. The way you described the laundry on the line/cell phone forecast was just so incredible. You had me hanging on!! I am waiting for a miracle but I don't know how God is going to answer because He is sovereign and His ways are above my understanding or anything that I could ask or think (I am NOT quoting the Bible...probably mixing verses I love the most).

    Thanks for sharing this over at WholeHearted Home this past week.

  11. Excellent post!!! What a great object lesson...logic is useful, but faith in God's Word is a MUST! Even (or ESPECIALLY) when it defies our logic! Thanks for linking up with me at A Little R & R Wednesdays. I hope you'll be back by to link up again.