After living all of my 28 years in sun drenched Florida, my husband and I moved to Chicago. People thought we were crazy. Do you know what happens in Chicago in the winter? Ice, snow, hail and this stuff called sleet. We moved in October. Winter came fast and hard that year leaving me longing for springtime by Thanksgiving. But spring would come in March, right? Wrong. Would you believe it was still snowing on Mother’s Day? Every sun deprived molecule in my body yelled out “Really? REALLY? Is spring ever going to come?” With each falling flake my doubts grew.
If you’d asked me that snowy day in May “Do you believe spring will come?” I would have answered “yes” but the snow white view out my window brought doubts. Doubts are part of life, even the Christian life. Winter storms in our lives, like financial, health or family problems, can block our view of God and leave a residue of doubt. But listen to this: doubts may not be a sign your faith is weak but rather that your faith is strong.
If you have a small faith and believe that God is some small, distant, passive guy glancing at mankind from afar, you don’t expect to see God working in your life. But if you believe that God is really BIG and so close to you He can feel your breath, then seeing God as passiveness makes no sense at all. So people with strong faith may turn to God with questions.
John the Baptist was one of these people.
I love that John the Baptist had doubts. Let’s face it. John’s faith in Jesus was HUGE! John dedicated his life to preparing the way for Jesus. And if that’s not enough, when folks try to worship and adore John, he pointed them to the true Messiah- Jesus. But then a neurotic King named Herod threw John in prison for preaching God’s truth. This was John’s winter storm. Prison was a cold, hard place that filled him with questions. Matthew 11:2-3 says “When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’” Questions. John the Baptist had questions.
But how did Jesus handle John’s questions? How does Jesus handle your questions? After explaining to John’s disciples that He truly was the Messiah, Jesus then proclaims in Matthew 11:11 “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” Jesus says this about John after he heard about John’s doubts. He doesn’t toss John aside or shake His head with disappointment. He welcomed John’s questions, gave him reassurance and then praised John for his amazing walk with God.
On that dreary Chicago day in May, my head knew spring would come but my eyes, and my heart felt stuck in winter. Jesus knows in the winter, you will need to hear His reassurance and receive His praise. Don’t hide. Take your questions and your doubts to Jesus. He’s waiting. Let His reassurance melt your winter into spring.