As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. "Rabbi," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents' sins?"
"It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world." John 9:1-5
Sometimes life brings interruptions that are far more serious than being interrupted in the middle of a conversation or someone knocking on the door during our favorite television show. Whether it be national disasters like a hurricane or a school shooting, or personal tragedies like a car accident, a lost job, or a grim medical prognosis, tragic interruptions must be held up against the reality of our beliefs.
It is easy to declare, "God is good!" when everything is going our way - relational security, financial success, answered prayers, etc. But, when life throws us a curveball or knocks us off our feet, are we sill able to utter those words and mean them? Eventually, our beliefs about God, His sovereignty, and His goodness get put to the test.
In John 9, Jesus encounters a blind beggar. Trying to wrap their minds around this man's suffering, the disciples ask Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Back then, people believed people suffered or faced a calamity due to their poor choices and sin. Even though they might not have uttered these words, some in the crowd probably believed the blind man had it coming and deserved his lot in life.
How often do we display this attitude upon seeing someone else's suffering? We are never equipped to judge WHY someone may be struggling, we are called to love them through it. Even as we walk through our hardships, we sometimes feel unloved or forsaken by God. It's difficult not to let our situation dictate our trust in God and the measure of His love for us. But we must never hitch God's love for us to our circumstances. We are only to measure His love for us by the cross.
Things happen in our lives and in the world that we do not understand. Life is unfair and unjust. God sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). But through it all, we can trust that God loves us even if we do not feel His love or if our circumstances do not work out the way we hope.
Jesus did not say about the blind beggar, "This happened because he was such a wretched sinner. He deserves everything that came his way!" No, Jesus lovingly said of him, "This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him!" Resolve now that your trust in God is deep enough to believe and rejoice that He will use your trying circumstances to display His work in your life for the benefit of others and the glory of His name.
Looking back and examining your heart, has there ever been a time when you measured God's love for you based on your circumstances? If so, what were the results of this? How willing are you to keep praising God and seeking Him without understanding the circumstances you face?
If difficult circumstances sometimes interrupt our lives so that "the works of God might be displayed," how does this change your approach to them?
Lord, I pray that my willingness to seek You and rejoice in Your name would never be based upon my circumstances. Help me to believe that You truly love me, no matter what happens in my life. I know you can use any hardship to display Your glory. I ask that You help me see all the ways that You have worked in my past difficulties as well as open my eyes to Your works in my present and future hardships. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.