This account from Matthew 11 is one of my most beloved passages of scripture. It reveals the doubts that emerged in John the Baptist’s life after his unfair imprisonment at the hands of the evil Herod Antipas. He was in prison in a place called Machaerus – one of Herod’s palaces built high above the Dead Sea on the Jordanian side. Some of his disciples were allowed to visit him, and it astonishes me that he asked them to find out if this Jesus, his cousin, who was performing amazing deeds across the Judean countryside, was truly “the One,” or should he be looking for “someone else.” In his moment of deep crisis, he too doubted whether Jesus was truly who he said he was. Crisis has a way of eroding our faith and allowing doubt to slip into our souls.
Doubt is an occasional visitor to all of us and a persistent, unwelcome intruder to many of us more frequently than we would ever want. When my son was born, all the things I doubted in life melted away when I first held him in my arms. He was a miracle of God and profound evidence for the goodness and wonder of God! I found myself utterly incapable of questioning the role of God in overseeing this universe that Kyle was born into. There was nothing ‘random’ or ‘unintentional’ about his arrival. There was a gracious, purposeful God who entrusted him into my arms, and it mattered whether I loved him well or not. The existence of God became a reality I have virtually never doubted since that August morning. Esau may have deeply doubted the goodness of God when he realized his brother Jacob had deceived both him and his father in stealing the blessing reserved for the firstborn. His cry for the blessing of his father in Gen. 27:38 easily brings a tear to any eye. We all so deeply want the blessing of our earthly Dads. The loss of blessing created anger in Esau’s heart, and I’m sure it caused him to doubt his Heavenly Father’s intentions for his life.
Key Thought: May our doubts drive us back to the heart of the Father and may we find his love, his grace and his great purposes for our lives more deeply than ever before. He truly is the good, good Father, and we truly are loved by him. Let us rest in that love this day.