“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
When things go wrong it is natural to want to know why. Why did this happen to me? What did I do wrong? So when Jesus was confronted by human suffering he was asked the question that we would all probably want to ask him – why? Why is there suffering?
Jesus’ answer was both frustrating and insightful! The first thing he did was to remove any notion of blame or cause; this wasn’t a matter of sifting through the man’s life trying to find some buried sin that must have been the cause. Without going into any further explanation, Jesus shifted the focus from the cause to glory by seeing the problem as a possibility for God. The Message translation puts it this way: “You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.” This may not satisfy our longing to find reasons, but it does give us another focus. In any situation or hardship facing us that causes suffering – what can God do?
Of course this involves a huge surrender on our part, but that surrender opens the door for the action of God. Hold your particular hardship before the Father who loves you and invite him to reveal his glory through it.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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