The man sat in the dark pit, his long hair tangled and hanging about his shoulders. His food may have been simple: insects and water. Taunting prison guards probably let his friends visit, because he was able to pass a message to the outside world. He thought he knew his purpose. He believed God had called him to say the words that sprang to his lips.
He had defied the authorities and called out truth to the governor. People had flocked to hear him, to see him, to have him pour water over their heads.
“Repent,” he said. “For the Kingdom of God is near.”
Zeal for God consumed him until he became no more than a voice crying out in the wilderness and then one day it all changed.
Out of the crowds who came from the capital– wealthy businessmen, spiritual leaders, soldiers and the common people–a man walked and asked to be baptized.
John could not believe his eyes. This was the man he had anticipated for so very long.
“I’m not worthy.”
“It is fitting.”
Into the water the man went, baptized for sin? The heavens rumbled when he came up. John heard the words and others glanced among themselves. Did we really hear that? Could it be true?
Was this really God’s beloved son?
Jesus returned to Galilee and John continued to baptize until the day the authorities arrested him.
He sat in the dark and wondered what had happened to the promised Kingdom of God. Had he misunderstood? Was his sacrifice futile? Wasn’t Jesus the Messiah, or should he have looked for another?
His friends took the question to Jesus, who heard them out and spread his arms. “Go and tell John what you see: the lame walk, the blind see and the dead are raised to life.”
Clear as mud, as usual, Jesus.
As the friends returned to John with the description, Jesus bestowed his blessing: John is Elijah. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
What do you expect God to do with your life and your offerings?
What do you do when your expectations do not match your experience? Click to Tweet
If you pray about your husband’s job–that God’s will should be done since you know things are difficult–and he loses his job, what does that say about your faith?
I figured it this way: either God’s plan involved my husband losing his job or there was no God.
Some people will choose the “no God” option, but I could not.
I had seen God do too many things in my life in answer to prayer. I could not decide there was no God.
But like John, did I misunderstand?
Or is every setback an opportunity to choose to believe God is in control? Click to Tweet
Don’t we all get a choice in our everyday life? The choice of believing God is at work or not?
How did John feel when the friends returned with descriptions of what Jesus was doing?
Would that have been enough for John?
Would it be enough for you?
My husband got another job. He lost a job. He got another job. He’s done well for years.
But I have never forgotten the sinking, sick-in-the-gut feeling when my expectation, my faith in what our purpose in life was for, was disappointed.
Had God deserted us?
Of course not.
He just took us on a slightly different path than we expected.
What did Jesus do?
Established the Kingdom of God by healing people and setting free those captive to sin. Raised others–and then himself–from the dead.
Just like the prophecies said.
John just had to meditate on the Scriptures a little differently than his expectations.
Through God’s prism, say, rather than his own.
Have you ever chosen to believe God’s promise, even if your circumstances suggest otherwise?