For a short time in my life I had a side business doing some painting. I once painted an interior apartment in a large beautiful Victorian house. When I was done, it looked great. However, there was a bit of a problem. The owner came to check on my progress only to find that I had painted with the wrong color! I was certain I had it right, but, alas, the job ended up taking twice as long as anticipated.
Sometimes we can be so sure about our plans, only to discover our expectations were off. John the Baptist was sitting in jail, not for any crime other than offending the king. As he sat there, John began to doubt. He started wondering about Jesus. Maybe he had been wrong about him. Perhaps he was not the Messiah after all. John had been doing ministry with the expectation that Jesus would beat up the Romans, usher in a renewed political Israel, and put down all threats to his Lordship. But that was not happening. John was now uncertain. So, he sent some of his disciples to Jesus to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
John reasoned that if Jesus were really a sovereign king, he would not be imprisoned facing imminent death. Jesus responded to John’s uncertainty by quoting the prophet Isaiah and letting him know that the kingdom takeover was going exactly as planned. The problem was that John had been using the wrong paint. John’s plans did not fully sync with Jesus.
It is easy to doubt when adversity strikes. When things don’t go according to our expected plans, then what? This is why it is so vitally important to continually seek the Scriptures and seek the Lord Jesus so that we might not only paint the right building, but use the paint Jesus expects us to use. The thing that John got right was pursuing Jesus. When in doubt, he sought the Lord – and that is something we all can emulate.
Lord God, you are sovereign over your world, even though at times it does not seem like it. I look to you, Holy Spirit, to keep me on track with Christ’s kingdom purposes so that your will is accomplished in and through me. Amen.