“‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” John 9:3 (NIV)
Have you ever found yourself asking God: Why would You allow this to happen?
I certainly have.
The last couple years of my life, I’ve had to face one hardship after another. At many points, I’ve wondered how I would make it through. It’s hard to feel confident in the goodness of God when circumstances don’t feel good at all.
We’re often left thinking that if we could just figure out the why, then life would make more sense. Especially in the face of pain or suffering.
This is where we find the disciples in the ninth chapter of the book of John — holding out the question of why. Jesus and His disciples had come across a man who’d been blind from birth. It was an encounter that left the disciples asking Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2b, NIV).
The disciples were looking for someone to blame for this unfortunate situation. If they could only figure out the reason why, then this man’s hurt would be more tolerable, they reasoned.
Being blind in Jesus’ time was often seen as a statement about the sin in your life. So, you probably didn’t have a whole lot of help from people. In their eyes, you were not only blind — people assumed you were a sinner God was punishing. Jesus turned this thinking on its head when He declared the words of our key verse to His disciples: “‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him’” (John 9:3).
The reason this man was blind was so others could see the amazing power of God. Healing his physical blindness would lead others to spiritual sight. It would shine a light on the One who declared He had come to be the Light of the world.
Sadly, not all who witnessed this man’s healing were open to Jesus’ Truth. In fact, it stirred up a whole mess with the Pharisees — a group of men whose lives prove we don’t have to be physically blind to only see darkness.
The Pharisees knew all about the prophesied Messiah. But when Jesus came on the scene, they couldn’t see He was the One. They knew all the right answers, but didn’t make the right choice.
Oh, how this makes my heart pause. What do I want most? What do I need most? Answers … or Jesus?
As much as I want answers for those things that break my heart, what I’m finding I want and need more is spiritual sight. I want to approach a situation that might look hopeless and see the spiritual potential. I want to read the Bible and see clearly what God wants to say. I want to know how to react to situations in a way that honors Christ. I’m guessing these are things you are wanting, too.
So how do we get this kind of spiritual sight? We ask God for it. Continually. And sometimes that means surrendering our whys and choosing instead to ask, “Will You help me see You, Lord? Even in this?” He is the One who can illuminate the dark places for us. His presence alone has the power to bring us peace in the midst of our unanswered questions.
Today, let’s be careful not to get stuck in our whys. Let’s not allow them to leave us blind to His presence, blind to His goodness, blind to His power, blind to the hope we have in Him. Let’s not be like the Pharisees — people who could physically see but were blind to the Savior standing right in front of them.
I know this isn’t easy. Trust me. I have situations where I’ve begged God to give me answers. But I’m realizing instead of answers, He’s given me Himself. A way to come straight to Him, the One who already has it all figured out. The One who reminds me I don’t have to have His answers to have His comfort.
Father God, I might not have all the answers to my struggles, but I’m seeing more hope than ever. Jesus is my Light. And because of Him, even my darkest of nights aren’t so daunting and confusing. Thank You for reminding me that this day holds Your presence, Your blessings and Your comfort. Give me eyes to see You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
John 8:12, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Have you been stuck in a place of asking God, “Why this? Why me?”
What would it look like today to lay those questions down, and simply ask Him to help you see Him in the midst of it all?