Thursday, November 15, 2007

Disappointments and Expectations

I have been studying for my class I teach on Sunday morning. I love my class and look forward to seeing my ladies every week. They are such an encouragement to me. And, there are just some things you can say in an all female class that you can't in a mixed group!!

This week our lesson is titled, "Persevering Through Unmet Expectations." It's from Genesis 29 but I was looking at a story about John the Baptist in Matthew 11 and Luke 7. (I got this really cool book called Synopsis of the Four Gospels that shows the parallel accounts side-by-side! I can look at one story in every gospel where it is recorded at once!) John the Baptist was in jail. That had to be disappointing. He was, after all, related to the Messiah, the Son of God. The mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins. (KJV uses the word cousin but the translation I usually read, NASB, uses relative in Luke 1:36) The mothers were pregnant with the boys at the same time. I wonder if they grew up hanging out together. I wonder when Jesus and His family went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts if the two of them got together. I wonder if that time when Jesus was 12 and His family was in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover and Jesus got left behind and His parents found Him in the temple when they returned if John the Baptist was there -- did He know about it? Obviously, these are unanswered questions. But, John the Baptist did baptize Jesus in the Jordan River and he did hear the voice from heaven pronouncing Jesus to be the beloved Son of God. Certainly, John's expectation was not to be sitting in jail. So, John sent some of his followers to find Jesus. He just needed to know for sure -- "Are You The One or should we look for another?" The message Jesus sent back was reassurance, "Go back and tell John what you've seen and heard. The blind, sick, and lame are healed. The good news is preached." (My very loose translation of Matt. 11:2-6 & Lk. 7:18-23)

Life will bring disappointments. There's no avoiding it. Sometimes they sting like crazy. Sometimes it seems like the heavens are silent when I want things to change, when I'm screaming and begging and pleading for a different outcome. That's when I go back to what I know to be true. The blind, sick, and lame are healed. The good news is preached. The promises of God are true and He never breaks a promise. He will never leave or forsake (Josh. 1:9)... His grace is sufficient and power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)...forgiveness is granted when I seek it (1 Jn. 1:9)...there is an inheritance (Eph. 1:14)...

This I know for sure...Jesus saves, Jesus saves...
Rescue me.

Serving Him because there is no other,


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