Summary: In 2016, the music industry lost a musical genius-Prince Rogers Nelson
In 2016, the music industry lost a musical genius — Prince Rogers Nelson. With an impressive repertoire, this man influenced the music industry in such a way that, to this day, we can still sing the songs he wrote back in the seventies and eighties verbatim. It’s amazing that, after an extensive investigation, they concluded that he died of an apparent drug overdose, so now history has to be recorded to read, he was a musical genius, but he died of a drug overdose. My question to us today is, what is your but, and can you talk about it?
The church, just like the hospital, should be a place for the sick to come and get well, for the broken-hearted to come and get mended. The church should be the place where the unloved can come and receive love. The church should be a place where, when the world has blocked them out and cast them aside, the unloved can feel a part of something. So, if that is the case, then why is it so convenient for people to recall one’s accomplishments while tagging on a but at the end of that person’s life resume? Whether they know it or not, God is in that place. The place that seems ugly. The place that seems unmentionable. The place that seems undesirable. That’s the place where God begins His work. His delivering power. His salvific power. It’s in that place, where God begins his work in us. We replay the buts in people’s lives, notwithstanding the power of God to do a new thing in us.
Perhaps you’ve heard the stories: He was a pastor, a leader, and a husband, but he had a mistress. She was a politician, a wife, and a mother to three beautiful children, but she had an alcohol addiction. They were a power couple; their children were in Ivy League schools, but the husband lived a double life. He had scholarships from the top universities, a job lined up before he even graduated, but he sold ecstasy out of his backpack during school hours. She was a wonderful dancer; she loved the Lord, but she had a child out of wedlock.
The church gets stuck on the but and magnifies the accomplishments before the but, so we boast about the accomplishments yet sit in the seat of the scornful while recalling the unimaginable, the ugly thing. Yet that’s the place where God is! I wrestled with this text because it can be considered a text that speaks to the account of a healing miracle or one that highlights his accomplishments, despite his disease. We all have a but in our lives.
Naaman was a leader. The text says: Naaman was a man of honor. Naaman had great nobility. We knew about his leadership and his successes. Then, the text tags on that small three letter word — but. But he was a leper.
We all have a but in our lives. This is the place where humility resides. This place, when or if uncovered, should bring us down a few notches and humble us. This is the place where God has been or is working some things out in us. The but serves as a reminder, telling us that, without God, we would be nowhere. Naaman had earned the love and respect of his king. Yet, with all his strength and might, Naaman suffered from the dreadful disease of leprosy. Naaman suffered from pride and faulty expectations. He wanted a quick fix and special treatment. For some folks, having a but in their lives presents a form of entitlement, and for others, it positions them for a healing and a breakthrough.
Perhaps, Naaman is not the only one with leprosy. Sometimes, the church can be leprous. Leprosy, depending upon the victim, may remain localized, or it may spread. Leprosy causes nerve destruction in the infected areas. It causes the victim to lose his sense of feeling in those areas. It is this loss of feeling that poses one of the greatest dangers to the leper. If he hurts himself in one of these areas, he may not recognize his injury or the severity of it until it becomes infected or has infected other parts of his body. Sometimes, the church can be leprous.
It’s an amazing thing that the Hebrew meaning of the name Naaman is “pleasant, pleasantness, beautiful, agreeable, or delightful.” This is everything that Naaman was not until God stepped in!
Naaman was a man who had a first-class ticket to society. He was the Colin Powell of his day, a hero to his king, as well as the nation. Naaman was the man who had everything, but he had leprosy.
In this season of your life, perhaps consider talking about your but. What has God healed you from? Delivered you from? Pulled you out of? Could it be that, if and when you talk about your but, God can be glorified and someone’s life edified, just because they’ve heard your story? The Bible says, in Revelation 12:11 (KJV): And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. God has only the best in mind for His children. God can bless you, use you, and set you up for greatness, in spite of your but. Consider that part and watch God work!