John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the Messiah we've been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?" Jesus told them, "Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen--the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, 'God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.'" Matthew 11: 2-6
I read this Sunday morning and was leveled...again. Did you ever have a dream that you felt was just for you? Have you ever believed that God reached down from heaven, tapped you on the shoulder and said, "Hey, I love you and I have something I want you to do for Me, for us, for the kingdom. Let me show you My love."? Then, you get on fire from His touch, your soul burns with desire, a passion. Your heart feels full suddenly and you want to share it. You are basking in the light of His smile, the touch of His hand. Then, doubt creeps in, things seem to grind to a crawl or a stop. The great liar satan starts whispering in your ear, 'Maybe you just misunderstood.' Or he gets real nasty and says, 'You were never good enough anyway' or the one he always uses on me, 'Why would God use someone like you, who has done what you've done'? And, a grey blanket of numbness gets laid over your heart and you are battered, confused. You question, 'God, is this real? Did you really say that to me or did I just imagine it? Help me, God, I'm drowning here.' The blanket becomes heavy, a cloud cover rolls in and all suddenly becomes foggy.I love this passage for so many reasons but I won't talk about all the reasons for now. I love it, it speaks to me because I've recently had a blanket thrown over me just like John did. What I love illustrated in this passage is John's humanity. He had one of those moments we've all had, one of those Are you kiddin' me? moments. Keep in mind, this was one of the first people to announce to the world who Jesus was. He had spent his entire adult life and ministry pointing people to Jesus. Then, John gets his blanket party, his numbness settles in. He gets locked up and things start to get foggy in his heart and he doubts, he questions. John has to be thinking, 'Dude, remember me? I'm the guy who was singing your praises and tellin' everybody about you. What's up with this prison crap? You gonna help a brutha out?' And I really love Jesus' response. He reminds John of who He is and what He has done. Jesus doesn't chastise him, belittle John for his doubt, his lack of faith. Rather, Jesus loves. He simply reminds John of what He has done and how He loves.See, I had one of these moments this week. I was in a bit of a fog, a funk, under a blanket if you will. And I was sayin', 'Hey Jesus, You gonna talk to me here or what?' Then, a moment happened...two actually. Before my brother, Tony, got married this weekend, I was honored to lead the other groomsmen and my dad in prayer over him and his upcoming marriage. God told me, 'Pray over your brother.' I gave Him the eye roll and my best 'whatever' look. He said again, 'Pray over your brother, I have something to say to you.' So, I did. Then, we walked into the sanctuary a bit later and I stood up with Tony as his best man. I watched as my brother was overwhelmed in the moment. I watched his hands shake, I saw him wiping tears, I heard his voice break as he gave his vows to his lovely wife. And, I was overwhelmed myself. I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat at the tenderness of the moment. And, in the beauty of that moment, He spoke. He spoke to my heart in a way that I cannot explain and no words can really suffice. He showed me in that moment that Love still exists, that Hope never dies and that He still cares. Weird...it's not foggy anymore.