God is at Work. Trust Him. Today’s readings are I Samuel 28-29, Psalm 109, and Matthew 11.
God is at Work. Trust Him.
Today’s readings are I Samuel 28-29, Psalm 109, and Matthew 11. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
What do you do when it seems that God is inattentive to your circumstances? When God seems quiet and uninvolved, are you tempted to lose faith, shut down, doubt, walk away, or try to go it alone? John the Baptist is right there with you. He is in prison and his circumstances aren’t looking good. In fact, it won’t be long before he is executed. It is doubtful he had this in mind when he went out into the desert and began the work that God called him to. He was supposed to be the forerunner, the prophet who would go out into the wilderness and prepare the way for the Lord’s coming, for God’s Messiah to show up. He was pretty clear on this. But what he’s going through in this chapter, he’s not so clear on. At this moment, he is in prison awaiting his death. He sends some of his disciples to go and ask Jesus a question. John’s vision of his place in this whole story of God is starting to get a little cloudy and he wants some clarity. To John it seems like God is being inattentive to his circumstances. It seems like God is not coming through for him the way that he thought he would, and the temptation is there to start to doubt. You can’t blame John for that. So he sends some of his servants to ask Jesus,
“Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” (Matt 11:3)
Notice how Jesus responds. He does not tell them, “ I’m the guy! Tell John I’ll break him out by noon. He’s good to go!” No. He tells them to report what they hear and see. John can’t seem to see past his circumstances and his prison walls. John’s pain, and perhaps disappointment, over God’s seeming inactivity in his life have shrunk his vision down to the size of his prison cell. So Jesus wants John to see something beyond the walls of His prison. So he tells John’s friends to tell John what they see and what they hear. He wants his friend, John, to see beyond his circumstances. The message Jesus sends back to John is:
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Matt 11:5-6).
It’s as if he is telling John to hang in there. This is a message for you, too.
Your personal circumstances don’t necessarily coincide with how God feels about you.
Your personal circumstances don’t necessarily coincide with how God feels about you. Don’t let your faith hinge on what God has or hasn’t done for you lately. When your prison walls begin to shrink in on you and your vision matches the dimensions of your prison walls, then remember this message: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Matt 11:5-6).
God is at work! He is not inattentive or neglectful. He is working all things out according to His purposes, even for you. When circumstances come crashing in and your vision shrinks, be strengthened by the knowledge that God has his eye on you. Hear him say to you, today:
Blessed are you. I am present with you. I have not left you. I am not inattentive or neglectful of you. Keep your eyes on me. I’m working everything out.
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