This Christmas has been a little more intense.  With intensity and difficulty come clarity and a fresh perspective.

We personally had a rough spot this season.  It was brief, but nonetheless hard. It brought Christ right smack into the center of our lives with arms open wide. 

I started teaching 5th grade Sunday School. I don’t want to look stupid, so I did my homework.  I found myself diving into the life of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus that was only months older.  John and Jesus would had to have at least those occasional meetings as cousins do because of the love, bond and friendship their mothers shared.

John would have to have been told by his mother that Jesus was the Savior.  He banked everything on it.  He came out preparing the way and surrendering his entire life for the cause of Christ. 

John was able to baptize his cousin. For a brief time he was able to share the good news. And, that was it.  He found himself in a dark cold prison after calling out Herod for taking his brother’s wife. 

John sent his disciples to ask the Messiah, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”  That was a great question.  I would be wondering the same thing. 

The man devoted his life to Christ and surrendered everything.  And, that is how he was thanked?  Stuck in a dungeon and unable to fulfill the purpose he was sure God had for him. 

The response of Jesus stopped me in my tracks.

“Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”  Matthew 11:6

I took that to mean:

Blessed are you when you trust in my sovereignty.

Blessed are you when you realize My thoughts are not your thoughts and My ways are not your ways.

Blessed are you when you are motivated because you are focused on the story God is writing through your life for eternal purposes rather than for temporal comfort.

Blessed are you when you believe.  Just stand still and believe.

It is a difficult place to be – vulnerable and just trusting.  But, that is the place where Christ shows up in the most tender and palpable way.  Every time.

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