I think we all, at some point in our faith journey, grow disappointed in Jesus. Of course we don't call it that.
But if we were being most honest, we would.
Because there are times when He doesn't show up like we expect Him to. He doesn't spare us from what we want Him to. He doesn't do what we think He should.
And ultimately it leaves our hearts disappointed.
John the Baptist found himself there.
And if Jesus' very own cousin—the one who leaped in the womb when unborn-Jesus was nearby and who, upon baptizing Jesus, heard God's own voice declare Him to be His Son—if John felt disappointed in Jesus, it seems fairly safe to assume we all will find ourselves there too.
When John the Baptist was in prison, he sent word from jail to ask Jesus if He was "the One". Now, John had seen and experienced an awful lot that had left him completely convinced that Jesus was in fact "the One". He had lived his whole life built on that premise, doing nothing more than point people towards Christ.
But now he finds himself in prison, where he knows he will likely die. And he's starting to have his doubts. Because this isn't how he anticipated the story unfolding... And he's no longer feeling convinced...
"Are you the one... or should we expect someone else?"
Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor."
I hear Him gently reminding John not to forget all he had seen and experienced. That He is still who John knew Him to be. No matter what.
And then Jesus added: "Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me.”
He heals the sick. Raises the dead. And breaks chains of captivity. But He wasn't rescuing John from prison. He wasn't going to spare him from being beheaded. He wasn't showing up in the ways that John not only hoped for, but also expected.
What I hear in those words is this:
Blessed are those who still trust Me even when I don't live up to their expectations.
He was acknowledging John's disappointment in Him, and asking him to trust Him still.
When life—and therefore God—doesn't pan out the way you'd hoped, wanted, dreamed, and believed... and you are left feeling disappointed in Jesus (even if you aren't ready to admit that's what you're feeling), you have a decision to make.
What will you do when God doesn't live up to your expectations? Will you still worship? Will you trust Him? Follow Him? Love Him?
I keep hearing His words: "Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me." And I feel so challenged.
Will we still trust that God is good even when He disappoints us?