Oh how I love those mountaintop highs that bring such exhilaration and heart pumping joy… Those moments of knowing that our lives beat with a purpose and that God is close and we have proof because we have been clothed in His presence.
Inevitably though, we all are led down the mountain…and life in the valley never sounded appealing to anyone.
I exert, that strangely beautiful places exist in the valley…these are glimpses where we see our need for God in new and alarming ways. We always need Him. Yet, it is often in these difficult moments that our weakness is most evident and subsequently, His strength is most visible.
“That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Cor. 12:10
Often it seems as though when God reveals something to us or sends a promise tailored to His design for our lives, it is of such magnitude that we can only have our heads in the heavens while we ponder the glorious possibilities and mysterious path ahead….
Not soon after, life sets in and an epic battle ensues to steal away that plan that only God can accomplish anyway…and though we never give up, we never quit…sometimes the greatest promises seem to solicit the greatest questionings…
John the Baptist….
Right, so John the Baptist saw Jesus the Messiah- he saw the Holy Spirit descending from heaven upon Jesus like a dove. He had the Word and he knew the confirmation of God, this sign to point out and make clear the identity of the Messiah. Also, if you recall, this confident man boldly stood in the Jordan river rebuking royalty and religious leaders for their sin. And let us be honest since we are amongst friends, that the real spiritual elephant in the room is particularly the snapshot of a sold- out radical servant of God, picking locust legs out from his teeth and rinsing it all down with wild honey. Thus, it is not easy to separate the man from the plan. Alas, this was the same man that was sure to emphasize that when the Messiah came he would consider himself unworthy to even untie his sandals (Mark 1:7).
One moment John is seeing the dove descend onto Jesus, and the next minute he is rebuking royalty…this man was anything but doubtful, this man was bold and courageous….willing to separate himself in order to fulfill a God-sized plan for his life.
There is one thing, however, that has always intrigued me. We are allowed to peak into a part in his life where we see his urgency to make sure that he got it right….that his theology was correct. As John the Baptist is held in prison being punished for his bold faith, we see his need for answers…
“Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?'” (Luke 7:20)
Is it possible that at times, even though we have seen and heard things for ourselves that we remain in need of affirmation from our Lord? Is it possible that even the most set apart, courageous, and bold servants of God have moments where they simply desire reassurance… Or can it be that in our darker times, in the moments where depression is trying to wrap its grim fingers around our necks we cry out like a child for that knowing peace that can only come when Jesus Himself reassures us….
How then does Jesus react? Does He rebuke John?
“Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard–the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor….” Luke 7:22
The Lord reminded John of all that He (Jesus) had done. John had to be able to trust in Jesus for Himself, drawing His own conclusions off of the actions and life of Jesus….even off of the very words Jesus spoke.
When we struggle with faith and with the promises of God….the remedy is to go deeper in to Jesus. Remind yourself of all that He has already done, meditate on His words for they are full of life-giving power.
It is time for a faith exchange…give the Lord your doubts and know that like John, you can take Him at His Word.
“Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” ~ PSALM 34:8