Our passages today are filled with all kinds of people facing all kinds of challenges. John is unfairly imprisoned. A widow is on her way to bury her only son. David is overwhelmed by his guilt, his wounds, his vulnerability. “My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.” (Ps. 38:10) Balak is terrified of his enemies and keeps trying to get Balaam to curse them for him. But Balaam can only speak the words the Lord prompts him to speak and Balak, King of Moab, is not very happy.
Even the report John’s friends bring him while imprisoned by Herod was not comforting. He was doubting Jesus, and sends some of his disciples to Jesus to see if he really is the “One.” Current reality was eroding John’s confidence in his cousin. Jesus instructs the disciples to tell John that the blind can see, the lame are walking, the lepers have pristine skin and the deaf can hear. He is quoting from the Isaiah scroll in Luke 4 where Jesus claims that this scripture is being fulfilled in him. I wonder if John, in hearing about the wonderful things Jesus was doing, noticed that he didn’t mention that prisoners were being set free as he did in Luke 4? Was it an oversight or omen?
We’re tempted to accuse God of oversights in our journeys. Some things happen that shouldn’t and seems things don’t happen that we deem should. Is God asleep at the wheel? Does he see, know and care? Can he make a difference in our lives? The overwhelming evidence of the Bible is that he can and does - just not always in our timing.
There are always two potential responses to the circumstances of life. It says in Luke 7:29,30 that some people (sinners) acknowledged that God’s way was right. Others (the religious) rejected God’s purposes. It’s the same choice for us today. Will we trust or will we let our doubts and disappointments keep us from God and his grace? May our struggles today drive us to the foot of the cross where all ambiguity about the love of God is removed forever. May we rest in the One who never looks beyond us but intervenes perfectly and passionately.
Lead Pastor and fellow sojourner in following “the One” who alone can help us make sense of this crazy marvelous journey called life.