When God Does Behave As We Expect

One of the most poignant scenes in the Gospels is when John the Baptist sends some of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one?” (Matthew 11). Imagine this fiery prophet – a modern Elijah – languishing in Herod’s prison. Beside the Jordan, John boldly declared, “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1), but now he begins to doubt. I can imagine John asking, “If Jesus is the Messiah, why doesn’t he rescue me?”

Sometimes God doesn’t behave like we expect Him to. Who hasn’t asked, “Why is the Lord letting this happen to me?” That’s the story of Job. I don’t find Job very satisfying. It seems to declare, “God has His reasons.” Yes, but does He understand what I’m feeling? The New Testament answer is Jesus. Jesus left heaven and became a man. The Hebrew writer tells us he experienced everything we do – perhaps even that same feeling. After all, on the cross, he cried, “My Lord, My Lord, why have you forsaken me?”

If you’re feeling like that (especially in these days of isolation during the pandemic), consider this scripture. It’s a promise from God (and the Lord always keeps His promises!)

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38 – 39)

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