The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (ESV)
There it is! The stick says “pregnant.” Excitement and blissful fantasies of a grown tummy, ten little fingers and ten little toes, sweet baby coos and smells, future memories of a child growing up and tearful goodbyes on the first day of college all flood my heart in an instant. I quickly regain my composure, and a heavy cool settles over me as I reluctantly walk into the kitchen.
“Honey, it was positive … just wanted you to know.”
Instead of tears of joy, we feel apprehension. There’s an undeniable tension—do we celebrate or guard our hearts?
You see, this wasn’t our first positive test. It wasn’t even our second. It was now our fourth time to be pregnant. Unfortunately, the fourth positive test would prove to be equally disappointing.
My husband, David, and I are so grateful for God’s blessing in our lives, but in this moment, we feel so much despair! We know what God’s Word says and the promises He’s given us, but it just doesn’t make sense! We know He loves us, but we still feel so disappointed and confused.
Our situation reminds me of someone else Jesus really loved, John the Baptist. While I don’t think we’re quite on the same level as him—he ate locusts and was known as the “greatest man who ever lived” (Matthew 11:11; Luke 7:28)—but according to the Word, just like us, he faced major disappointment.
John, the man who had prepared the way of the Lord, was arrested and thrown into prison. He knew well Isaiah’s words were about Jesus: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed” (Isaiah 61:1, NLT). John had even used these words of Isaiah to operate in God’s power and do these very things!
Yet, here John was … in prison!
Upset, disappointed and confused about the way things turned out, John sent word to Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” At a glance, this question might not seem that unusual, but the truth is John the Baptist knew Jesus and knew He performed miracles. John was the very one who baptized Jesus and saw the Spirit of God descend on Him from heaven like a dove (Matthew 3:16–17). There was no doubt in John’s mind that Jesus was “the one who is to come.” Yet he still questioned Him.
I love that Jesus heard John’s question and spoke directly to the matter of John’s heart. “And Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up and the poor have news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me’” (Matthew 1:4–6, ESV).
Wait … Jesus didn’t say the prisoners will be freed.
Why? Because Jesus knew what John was really asking.
He knew John would die in prison, so He spoke to John’s heart by assuring him of the truth. Jesus addressed what John was really asking by saying, “blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Jesus cared about John and helped John through his circumstances.
My husband and I have yet to experience the blessing of children. But like John, in the face of disappointment and uncertainty, we have a decision to make: Will we be offended or will we worship? "And blessed is the one who is not offended by me" (Matthew 11:6, ESV).
Be encouraged today that God knows the matters of your heart! Even when you don’t understand, you can take comfort in knowing who God is and what He’s done in your life. You can choose how you respond. Will you be offended or will you worship?
We put our hope in the Lord, because God’s word is true. Choose today to trust Him. He loves you. Give in to Him. Believe Him. Pursue Him. Respond to Him.
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone MATT REDMAN
God, I know You are God. Even when things don’t always make sense and I don’t fully understand, I know You do. I thank You for the areas of my life You’ve blessed. I’m grateful for the things You’ve done. Today, I submit to You any areas that have been disappointing or confusing. I know I may never completely understand and yet I am willing to trust You completely. I worship You, from the most secret places of my heart; I honor You. I thank You for calling me Your friend and Your own. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Examine your heart to see if there are any areas of disappointment or mistrust in the Lord. If you find any, bring them to the Lord and ask Him to speak to you.
Find a worship song or scripture that connects you to God’s presence when a hurt comes your way.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
by Alena Moore
Taken from Love Expressed, a Gateway devotion.