Sometimes Scripture is perplexing isn’t it?
God certainly did not sugar coat nor did He hire a spin doctor to write out the story of humanity….the fall…the redemption…the good, the bad and the ugly of us all.
And aren’t we thankful?
Because life on planet earth is messy.
It’s moments of joy where you think your heart is going to explode in a thousand million bits of happiness.
And it’s those times when the explosion is so painful you can not even breathe as you view the shards of what used to be your existence.
To be honest…I have been so awe struck in the happy that I failed to look for Jesus in the midst of all the beauty of the moment.
But when I have thought and remembered and learned to worship Him…the joy has been eternally sealed.
And sometimes I have missed Him completely in the shattering of pain and heartache.
But when I have sought Him in raw brokenness …that pain has also become a place of beauty that exists beyond time and space.
Today I read a portion of Scripture that places two stories back to back that cause me stop and ponder.
Luke 7:11-17 recounts a day when Jesus and His disciples are passing through a town called Nain.
There is a funeral procession going along…a widow is burying her only son.
It says that Jesus’ heart “went out to her.”
He goes over to the coffin…touches it…and the son sits up and starts talking…walks off with his mom…goes home…resumes life.
I marvel at this.
How many moms all around had begged for the life of their son.
This mom was done and done with the begging and was burying her hopes and dreams and Jesus just saw her…had compassion…healed…raised the dead.
That’s what John wanted to know.
Because bumpered up against this passage is Jesus’ cousin John.
Rotting in a prison he didn’t deserve.
Because he had spoken out to Herod about some serious sin issues in the palace, he was now on death row.
And he is hearing from his disciples all the miraculous things Jesus is doing.
But there he sits.
Jesus even just randomly raised a dead man without so much as a “if You are willing…” from his mom.
But John faces death any day.
Innocent of wrong doing.
The one who had prepared the way.
The voice crying out in the wilderness.
So he sends his disciples to Jesus with a hard question.
Wow. I thought you were the Messiah. The one who would save us. Was I wrong? Should I be looking for someone else? Because…hello? I am not feeling the love here, Jesus. Where are You for me in my time of need?
And even stranger is Jesus’ response.
He tells the disciples to go back and report to John how the dead are being raised.
Go back to that dark prison where John waits for Herod to send his henchman and finish this off…and tell him about all the wonderful things that are happening.
And after they leave.
He praises John to the crowd.
He tells them how great John is in the Kingdom.
He doesn’t brag about John to John, see?
He gives John’s testimony to the crowd.
Can it be that right now, He is watching the faithful who struggle and He is declaring your testimony in the heavenliness?
Can it be when He seems the farthest and the least concerned it is because He is saying…well done…well done, faithful one.
Can we trust His compassion is there when we don’t feel it?
Can we sit in whatever unjust prison we have been assigned and find strength in His goodness even if we cannot see it?
Like the disciples we must say…this is hard…very hard…but where else can we go?
For it is only in You that we find eternal life.
Please know…I am praying for many of you who are walking through the darkest and hardest of valleys.
May you know the sweet presence of God in these days.
Hold fast to the faith.
He is faithful <3