Are you the One or should we look for another?

I was raised in a Christian family, educated in a Christian school, and nourished in a Christian church, so at times, I tend to read the Bible with a certain smugness, as if I already know the whole plotline. I have often read Matthew 11:2-3, "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'?"

In my mind, I sort of think, "Duh. How dumb were these guys? John should have known that Jesus was the "one to come" since he proclaimed him the Lamb of God. And his disciples should have been able to see the miracles that Jesus was performing." But of course, I have the benefit of already knowing the entire gospel story; I'm not living it "blind" as John's disciples were.

I'm living in the 21st century, and as smug as I am about John's short-sighted disciples, I ask the exact same question. Perhaps not about the validity of Jesus as the Messiah, but I ask that question about other things. In fact, I hear people all around me asking it.

"Is this the right girlfriend/wife for me, or is there another?"
"Is this the right job for me, or is there another?"
"Is this the right choice (in whatever area of life) or should I look for another?"

I thought that John's disciples were exhibiting a lack of faith, but I'm starting to appreciate how much I need Jesus to clarify things for me, too. I mentioned before that a pastor of a church in Lyon has made me an offer to work with him after my furlough. He wants me to coordinate certain ministries of their church (a battered women's shelter, a second-hand store, etc.) that would serve as a bridge to Muslim women in various neighborhoods. I see that there is a real need. I see that the church is really committed to Muslim evangelism, and that they pray for revival in their city. I told the pastor that I would certainly pray about coming back to Lyon to help him with vision he has for Muslim ministry.

After months of frustration with life in France, where women are not allowed to minister and where I felt so wasted, I have a pastor who is eager to have me work with him. He already allowed me to speak at the youth retreat, which showed an unprecedented level of confidence without even really knowing me. I can't help but think that this is God's answer to my prayers about being used in ministry somewhere, somehow.

But I know that this is a huge commitment. I can't help but ask the Lord if this is the right decision, or if I should look for another possibility. I know that you are praying with me that He will guide my steps today and in the future, too.

In other news . . . This morning I thought that there was a pastor’s meeting for our local area, so I got all ready and drove to the church that hosts them, about 30 minutes away, only to find out that I got the date wrong (mostly because someone else got the date wrong when they told me . . . ). Anyway, that put me on the other side of town with hours free on my schedule, so I went shopping. Right next to that church is a large mall with a store I really like. I always use the pastor’s meetings as an excuse to pop into the mall. One good thing about losing weight is that I need some new spring/summer clothes, so I took an hour this morning to check out their sales. That put me in a good mood.

It is sunny and 80 degrees; I think we can all agree that would put anyone in a good mood. I decided to go through the car wash, because the pollen has turned my black car yellow lately. I had to wait in line, and here in France, you park your car and get out while it washes. So I was waiting with a grandfather and his 3 year old grandson, who was fascinated by the car wash. His grandfather explained every step to him, as he watched, intrigued by each spin of foam. He was so cute, it just increased my good mood.
Ariel Rainey