“I had plans for how my life was supposed to work out,” my friend David said. “And when things didn’t go as planned, I became bitter and resentful.” Who can relate to David? I definitely can! Often I find myself imposing my expectations on God as rights, and then sulking when they aren’t realized.
John the Baptist may have felt the same way. It’s possible that he and his disciples wondered why his famous cousin wouldn’t save him from Herod’s clutches. Reports spread of Jesus’ miraculous works throughout the region. But John had been imprisoned and was left to wonder if Jesus was truly the Messiah (Matthew 11:2-3).
So John sent his disciples to inquire. Was Christ the Expected One, or should they look for another? (Luke 7:19). In response, Jesus told them to report all that they had seen. The blind received sight, the lame walked, and the dead were brought to life. Then Jesus added something else: “God blesses those who do not turn away because of me” (Luke 7:23).
John was beginning to doubt if he had gotten it all wrong. What he knew intellectually about Jesus was being affected by what he felt emotionally. He was behind bars and things were not going the way he had planned.
God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, so, like John the Baptist, we can’t always grasp the intimate details He’s working out (Isaiah 55:8-9). Instead, He invites us into His plans and purposes for us.
Despite his doubts, John remained faithful. He was ultimately beheaded, but not before Jesus stated that none greater than John had ever lived (Luke 7:28). Imagine what awaited John when he entered God’s presence! Imagine what will await us as God reveals His perfect ways and plans in the days ahead.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Mark 2:23–3:19
Read Hebrews 11:1-2 and consider what it means to have faith in God.
Do you find it difficult surrendering to God’s will when you don’t understand the full picture? What steps can you take to seek God’s perspective in a current challenging situation?