John prepared the way for the Messiah by preaching repentance and forgiveness. (Luke 3)
John was among the first to recognize and reveal Jesus as Messiah.
Jesus is performing miracles, prophecies are being fulfilled...and John sits in a jail cell.
Things have not turned out the way John may have imagined they would have. Life with the Messiah does not meet John's expectations. He sends his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the expected One or do we look for someone else?" Luke 7:20.
Jesus encourages them to go recount what they have witnessed to John. Then he ends with this comment, "Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me."
Blessed - not happy. This person knows he possesses God's favor. He is fully surrendered and satisfied with God's dealings with him. This type of satisfaction has little to do with my circumstances. This one is blessed because he is not offended, he doesn't stumble, as He observes God at work in his life.
It sounds sacrilegious to say we are offended at God. Yet, we often are offended at God, while thinking we are offended at another. I have been offended at God and I have also walked in surrendered trust.
|Via Google Images|
God doesn't act as I think He should. I obey and expect He will make things easy - they're hard! I pray for healing and it doesn't come as I expect it to come. I pray for life and experience death. I pray for freedom and I don't see it as quickly as I'd like. I've been the "good girl" - why am I living with this pain?
It's in those times - when God fails to meet my expectations - that I have a choice.
I choose offense and become confused, bitter, and stunted in my spiritual growth.
I choose to authentically bare my soul and heart to God and then....I choose to turn my back on the offense. I choose to forgive - to release it. I forgive God for not meeting "my" expectations. I trust. I surrender. I recognize I am STILL blessed because God is still God - even when He acts differently than I expect.
I reject the offense and I embrace the blessing of walking surrendered to Jesus...even in the dark, hard, scary places.
I follow. He leads.
Pssst....I wanted to say "let it go" but I knew I'd lose 96% of the readers who would start singing THAT song. AND we've been without Internet since Sunday and wow - is it nice to be able to WRITE.
Living all of life before the face of God...