One day Jesus and His disciples were walking along when they passed by a blind man. He had been without sight since his birth. With few options for day to day survival, it was his habit to sit along the road and beg for alms. The followers of Jesus wrongly assumed that the reason for the blind man’s condition must be his own sin or the sin of his parents. Often times you and I want to find someone to blame when bad things happen. We like to connect the dots of cause and effect. However, Jesus replied that there was no sin at the root of the man’s blindness. Instead, He explained that it was intended that the man’s blindness would reveal the work of God. In other words, Jesus was teaching that we can’t always find simple answers for the struggles and tragedies of life. There was a higher purpose that God intended even if not easily accepted or understood.
Have you ever been in a situation like that yourself? Were you struggling to understand why something had happened but could not make any sense out of things? Maybe you were thinking that God might be punishing you or someone you care about. Perhaps the episode left you bewildered or even angry. Maybe you felt somehow responsible for the bad turn of events. In fact, as time passed, feelings of guilt or self-condemnation haunted your soul. Over time a bitterness may have taken root in your heart.
My wife and I struggled deeply when our second son Wade was left severely disabled as a result of suffering from bacterial spinal meningitis as a newborn baby. We were serving the Lord in Indonesia at the time. Suddenly we found ourselves facing a life and death crisis with our precious boy. Months later we would discover that he was left with fragile health, severe physical and mental limitations, and a prognosis for a very short life. We grieved, yet hoped and prayed for God’s miracle touch of healing. By God’s grace, we eventually began to accept his condition and look for God’s purposes to work in new, redeeming ways. The Bible offered us words of hope that God could bring something good from Wade’s sufferings. I still remember when this story of the man born blind gave me comfort and faith to believe God for unexpected blessings.
Jesus, who called Himself the light of the world, miraculously gave the blind man eyesight. It is fascinating how He did it. He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva and put it on the man’s eyes. Then he told the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. Often times Jesus expects us to take a step of faith. He requires our obedience to His command. The healing power is His, but the process may involve something from us. The man was wonderfully healed. For the first time in his life, he saw his own face and the faces of people around him. The sight of trees, sky, birds and babies must have produced a wonder and a joy he had never known. Ironically, the Jewish leaders of the day were upset because Jesus did this miracle on the Sabbath. Their eyes were blinded by their preoccupation with religious laws and traditions. Legalism had replaced a living faith that could make room for the sovereign power and goodness of God. When the Pharisees questioned the man about his miracle, they discredited Jesus and called Him a sinner. The healed man was dumbfounded by their response. He said, “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing. One thing I know. I was blind, but now I can see!”
God wants you and me to see His goodness. Over the years, in the midst of my son Wade’s suffering, my wife and I experienced the deep love of Jesus. Through his weakness we learned much about God’s power. Through his death we discovered a living, eternal hope that has given us expectancy and joy! The Lord also wants to show you His purpose to bring blessing. No matter your pain and struggle or your sorrow and grief, Jesus’ loving purposes will prevail for those who keep the faith!
Life does not always have easy answers. However, Roger Kruse has learned that God can be trusted to unfold His good purposes in our lives as we hold on to His promises and persevere in our faith. Sometimes that is the greater miracle!