Troubling and glorious are two words that flooded my thinking about one verse. I even wondered how this could be as I pondered deeper and deeper into the verse. What verse am I referring to? John 9:3, Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Glorious… verse 3 is one of the opening verses that sets up the healing of a man born blind. Jesus miraculously heals him, and in so doing makes yet another statement as to His ability and origin. And the Gospel resounds with yet another person believing in Jesus! Like I said, GLORIOUS.
And yet at the same time this verse is troubling. This man was born blind and lived many years that way. I pondered what being blind might have meant for the man and his family…
· He was different from most people.
· Likely couldn’t work. Did he have to resort to begging?
· Like the disciples, people thought he or his parents sinned, causing his blindness. What weight that must have been. What scars did that cause?
This and certainly more was put on him so that God might get glory? And that is a bit troubling. Would God, could God, did God inflict pain so that by removing the pain He –God- might receive glory?!?
And so I sat this morning with my thoughts tumbling…
In my own life I have experienced pain, pain of loss, pain of rejection, pain of false rumors. It was no fun. Eventually God worked good out through it. Romans 8:28 proved true in my life. I hope and pray that the works and character of God were displayed through resolution of my situation too.
Would I sign up for that kind of hurt again? Not voluntarily but neither would I remove that time of sifting if the subsequent growth and maturity that came from it would be lost as well.
And my hunch is that the man born blind would gladly accept the pain of his early years for the joy of receiving sight, meeting the Savior, believing in Him and now living forever with God in heaven.
Are some parts of this verse troubling? Yeah but for me, the all surpassing glory of God displayed is FAR more glorious.
Lord, I do not always understand Your ways, but I do always trust Your ways. Your ways are higher than mine. Your thoughts, too, are higher than mine and I surrender to You now and always.
Even more, Lord, I lay myself on the altar of service. Use me however You will, to bring glory to Your name. Through Jesus, my Lord, I pray. Amen.