Often, in the face of difficulties, two questions arises.
- Is God displeased with me?
- Is this the result of sin?
hese questions boil down to, “Why me?” I will admit to wandering into these thoughts with a heavy heart when I was younger. For whatever reasons, I lost my hearing and my mother at the same time. For whatever reasons, I cannot remember what happened. There are no triggers to suddenly see what my 2 year old eyes saw. What did that 2 year old hear for the last time? Why did that have to happen?
It didn’t help that I felt guilty and selfish for those thoughts, when my grandmother, my aunts, and my uncle all lost someone precious to them, too. It didn’t help that I felt that, in the wake of that loss, they may see a product of sin who would become their burden. It was when I got older that I left behind any grieving, for it felt fake to grieve for something I felt like I never had. I stopped feeling bad about it because there was a redeeming grace in living life with everything I had, and let me tell you, it’s a beautiful way to live.
There are two stories that brings mine into a different perspective. There was a group of people who believed that blindness, deafness, difficulties of life, abuse, and more was a direct result of the sins of either that person or the person’s parents. Those same groups of people affected the lives of two very particular people in two different times and places. Then, in a flash of grace, something changed those two people.
Let’s sit at the side of the road and watch quietly here. Here we see a man who was blind from birth. Here he sat and begged while people walked on by and ignored him. A man, surrounded by his followers, came upon the road and saw the blind man. His followers observed with pity swelled up in their hearts and asked, “Who sinned that he had to be born blind? This man or his parents?”
The man replied, none of the pity in his heart but only love and mercy, “Neither this man or his parents sinned. This happened so that the works of God may be displayed in him.” This man, the Messiah, made some mud with dirt and his saliva, placed them upon the man’s eyes, and told him to go wash in the pool. The blind man went, rinsed, and could see again. (John 9)
To understand the reply, consider this:
Redeeming tragedies is more important than wallowing in them. Learning from difficulties is healthier than letting them destroy our initiative.
The healed blind man redeemed his misfortune. Following his healing, he spread the good news about Jesus’ power. We redeem our tragedies by telling others how God’s sustaining grace has kept us afloat when it appeared we’d sink. We redeem our trials by sharing the lessons He has taught us through the “what.”
– From Why? by Martin Wiles
Now, let’s go back further. There was a man who was so highly esteemed in his time. He lived for his God and shunned evil. He was wealthy in everything. When troubles poured upon him and he lost everything, he ripped his clothes and sprinkled ashes on himself. Then he sat on the ground and worshiped. His friends came and saw him. They cried out and sat with him to comfort him.
Their idea of comforting him was telling him that he had displeased God somehow. They tormented him and mocked him, telling him he had to repent.
After a long period of this, God came to them and said to his friends, “You have not spoken the truth about me.” In that moment, he gave everyone a chance to be redeemed. In glorifying God even in his pain, Job received even more blessing than he ever did before. (Book of Job)
In this story, there is something powerful in trusting that what happened to you is not for the sake of evil or because you were bad. What ever happened that was bad or painful can have a beautiful, glorious thing come out of it. It can be turned into something good and lovely.
It isn’t about whether or not you deserved it. There is a simple fact that this happened and it’s time for you to learn how to take the good from the bad. There is a huge, exponential spiritual and mental maturity in taking what you have learned and enjoy your life anyway. This strengthens you and gives you the capabilities you never thought existed.
You are not lacking anything. If anything, you gained so much more. You begin to learn to listen more with your heart than to follow along with the same, tired path of everyone else. That’s why this happened to you.
From God’s Heart to your ears,