At the very moment Jesus’ public ministry began, the ministry of John the Baptist was brought to an abrupt halt. After spending his life helping God’s people “prepare the way” for messiah, John was arrested and sent to prison. Sitting alone in a cell, contemplating his life’s work, he began to have some second thoughts and sent his friends to ask of Jesus, “Are you the one to come, or shall we wait for another?” John was wondering if he’d spent his life in vain.
From time to time, each of us may find ourselves alone, at the end of a long stretch of hard work, and wondering “Have I done any good at all? has this been worth it? does my effort count for anything?” The fears, doubts, and uncertainties of such moments are as paralyzing and imprisoning as any of the stones and cell doors that held John the Baptist.
Jesus’ word for John is the word for us in such moments. We are part of a larger work from God, and God is the one who brings good things to pass. Hear the word of the Lord. See the good works that are occurring. God’s salvation is breaking forth, and the joy of the Lord is our strength!