25And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” Mark 6:25
When you’ve been in ministry for a while you get pretty good at reading faces. As people enter my office throughout the day, I can pretty much tell from the way they greet me where their heart is at. I have earned by now that there’s a heart posture that scares me even more than anger: resignation.
There have been a few moments in my ministry where people come into my office convinced that everything is ruined and they’ll never be happy again. It’s a conviction that joy isn’t something they’ll experience again this side of heaven. It scares me every time.
Maybe it’s so scary because that kind of deep sadness is something that drives people to desperate acts. Maybe it’s because we’re all afraid that it wouldn’t take much more to push us to that place. One event, tragedy, or mistake is enough to take all of our joy and convince us that “happily ever after” is for the fairy tales alone.
I have to think that’s how many believers were feeling when they heard of the beheading of John the Baptist. One of God’s most faithful servants, the voice in the wilderness crying out, and yet here his story seemingly ends in a horrific defeat. But friends, John’s story is not a story of death. It’s not a story of resignation and defeat. It’s a story of victory. John faithfully served God until He was called home, trusting that in the darkest of moments God could still use Him. That’s our story too.
We don’t get to choose how we leave this world. We don’t get to choose when God is done using us. But take faith dear friends, the ending has already been written and it sounds like, “And they lived happily ever after”.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, when my heart is broken and all seems dark, remind me that you are the light. Amen.
Contributed by Hannah Hayden