As well as being used to describe the metal bars and framework that we place wood or coal on in a fireplace, or the action with a grater, to shred some foods, the word grate also means to irritate or annoy.
Travelling through life, we do from time to time come across people and situations which do indeed grate with us. We find that the ‘ful’ disappears from grateful and we are left with irritation and annoyance!
In 2 Kings Chapter 5, we read the story of Naaman, the commander of the King of Aram’s army. He had leprosy and his wife’s Israelite maid explained that he could be cured, if he went to see the prophet in Samaria. He duly went and was most put out, when the prophet Elisha did not greet him personally and sent a messenger to tell him to wash seven times in the River Jordan. The instruction grated with him. It was not what he had expected and it prompted him to go away in a rage.
However, his servant encouraged him to go to the Jordan and wash seven times as instructed. When he did so, he was healed. He then returned to Elisha and acknowledged the God of Israel.
Read 2 Kings 5:9-14 a couple of times and then I would like to invite you to imagine your way through it, in whichever way seems best for you today. You may like to be Naaman or you may prefer to watch the story unfold as if you were watching it as a film.
As you entered into the story, what thoughts or feelings emerged? Is there anything which is currently affecting you physically or emotionally that you would like God to wash away from you. In the stillness speak to God about this. Finally read these verses from Psalm 103:2-5a (NLT)
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.