Read 2 Kings 5:1-14

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalms 51:10 (NIV)

In today’s reading, Naaman went to Elisha hoping to be healed of leprosy. Naaman was disappointed when Elisha conveyed a message through his servant to wash seven times in the river in order to be healed. The instructions sounded like a joke. But Naaman’s servants reminded him that he would have been willing to follow complicated instructions and questioned why he wouldn’t perform the simple task requested of him. After following Elisha’s orders, Naaman came out of the water of the Jordan rejoicing and healed.

As a widow who is well acquainted with the “disease” of loneliness, I know how quickly its episodes can turn feverish. My mind can be overcome with longing for someone or something to make me feel less lonesome. The story of Naaman reminds me that the remedy for loneliness is not found by seeking noteworthy objects or accomplishing grand tasks. My loneliness can be cured by simply drenching myself in God’s river of grace.

I have found that the best way to “drench” myself is to consistently pray Psalm 51:10. This practice brings me out of my loneliness joyful—dripping with grace and restored in mind and spirit.

Prayer: Healer of our souls, teach us to soak ourselves in your grace during our times of need. Renew a steadfast spirit within us. Amen.

Thought for the day: Praying scripture leads me to God’s grace.

—Virginia Jelinek, Texas.