Naaman was a mighty warrior, but he suffered from leprosy.
Maybe no one knew because they masked it well. Maybe no one knew because they didn't want to deal with the shame that came with knowing. Maybe no one knew because they allowed their pride or status to keep them from letting others know.
I'm talking about two well-known individuals who committed suicide a couple of months ago - Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. Although it appeared they were living successful, prosperous and purposeful lives, underneath they were experiencing pains so deep that at the shock and surprise of many, they took their own lives.
Could it be that suicides have risen because many of us are operating like Naaman, the great commander of the Army of Syria? Although he had leprosy, he masked it so well no one knew about it as he lived his daily life. Like Naaman, are we masking the problems we have in our lives while giving others the impression all is well? Are we masking our problems because we're afraid to reach out for help, or too afraid we'll be ridiculed, ostracized or criticized if we do?
When Elisha the prophet told Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordan River to receive healing from his leprosy, Naaman's response was filled with pride. "Why should I wash in
this river when there are two great rivers in my country I can wash in instead?" Because of his pride and position, he almost missed his opportunity to be healed. But after listening to the advice of his officers, he succumbed to his pride, washed in the Jordan River and was healed.
If there is a problem in your life you have been hiding, don't allow pride, position, embarrassment or shame to keep you from reaching out to get help today. Like Naaman, God has a river of resource available to help you deal with your pain or problem if you're willing to remove your mask.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.