“Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.””
(Matthew 11:2–6 ESV)
“Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.””
(Matthew 26:38–39 ESV)
I want to address some of you today in as private a conversation as you can have in a blog post.
I want to speak to those of you who are suffering…and there appears to be no natural or supernatural answer for your suffering.
Your prayers have gone seemingly without answer.
You’ve endured, but your endurance is waning.
Your faith is wrestling with your doubt… and sometimes your doubt is winning.
I want you to know that you’re in good company.
John was in prison for proclaiming the kingdom of God, while God was still out proclaiming the kingdom.
My guess is that it seemed to John that God could change his situation…that He should change John’s situation.
When the situation didn’t change he began to question whether he’d put his faith in the right person.
He had…but he still lost his head.
I can see where he might take offense to that…
What Jesus was saying to John and his disciples was that the kingdom has come, but it won’t always look that way.
He was warning all of us ahead of time that He won’t always exercise His power to free us from the tribulations of a fallen world…and that we must follow Him anyway.
He loved John and He loves you…but sometimes, like John, we won’t be able to discern that from our circumstances.
We are to “take up our cross” and follow Him …
Lest you think it was easy for Jesus to expect such, I refer you to the Garden of Gethsemane.
That’s where Jesus asks the Father for Plan B…
Plan A was going to demand suffering and death.
There was no Plan B.
All of us are going to have a Plan A set before us at some point.
We will pray for Plan B-Z and expect that a loving God will deliver us from Plan A.
It may happen…but it may not.
What I want you to understand is that you’re in good company…that Jesus understands both your pain and your hope that your pain will be alleviated.
It’s really ok to ask the same questions that John did as long as you understand you may receive the same answers.
Your circumstances don’t reflect His heart for you…you are loved in the midst of them.
Getting home won’t be easy, but He’ll be waiting when you arrive.
You may arrive in tears, but He will take care of that too…
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.””
(Revelation 21:4 ESV)
I look forward to that day and I look forward to meeting you (and Him) there…
Make your own application…