Responding when it's not about you.
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”. So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 9:1-6
“Who has sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?”
Often times in life when things go other than what was expected we find ourselves asking, “Why?” Why did that family lose their loved one? Why did that woman get cancer? Why did that horrible thing have to happen? We are often so distracted by the moment that we lose the ability to look at the big picture. We serve a God, however, who knows and sees all. A God who has given us His word to help us in any and all situations.
Throughout scripture we find people in a variety of circumstances who are able to look beyond themselves and know that regardless of what happens to them, God’s has a plan.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused of assaulting his boss’s wife, and thrown into jail and forgotten about. What would have happened if “why me?” was all he could respond with? Instead he continued to serve his Great God, ended up the second most powerful person in Egypt and was able to save his family from famine.
Paul was thrown into prison, beaten, and eventually killed all because he preached the saving grace of Jesus Christ. What would have happened if “why me?” was all he could respond with? Instead he continued to share the gospel, even in jail, and God used him to bring thousands upon thousands of people to Christ.
All of Jesus’ disciples were martyred because of their belief in their Savior. What would have happened if all the responded with was, “Why me?”
And what about Job? Horrible thing after horrible thing happened to Job. Job didn’t do anything wrong. Job didn’t make God angry. God allowed those things to happen because there was a bigger plan in play. And how did Job respond? Job fell down to the ground and worshiped the Lord.
Have you ever heard the old hymn It Is Well with My Soul? Horatio Spafford, a rich family man living in Chicago in the late 1800’s wrote this much loved hymn. The chorus simply says, “It is well, it is well with my soul”. What you might not know is the tragedy that struck Horatio’s life before he wrote this beloved hymn. In the great Chicago fire in 1871, Horatio lost a fortune. About the same time his 4 year old son died from scarlet fever. Horatio decided to take his daughters and wife to Europe. When an urgent matter came up, Horatio sent his wife and four daughters ahead. As that ship sailed into the night it collided with another ship and Horatio lost all four of his daughters. With his wife waiting for him in England, Horatio boarded a ship to go join his wife. On his way to see what was left of his family, he penned these words: It is well; the will of God be done. He later composed the hymn that we sing often today. Even amongst horrible tragedy, Mr. Spafford response wasn’t about himself but about the will of his Creator.
Jesus tells us in John 9:3, “It is not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
What’s your response when something unexplainable happens to you? Do you question God? Do you try to figure out what you did wrong to make this happen? Do you give up and have a pity party for yourself? What if it’s not about you? What if it’s about bringing glory to the one who made you? Are you willing to let God use all things in your life to bring honor and glory to Him?
How will you respond?