Sunday, December 5, 2010

For God's Glory

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."
John 9:1-3
Today's message @ church was based upon the question of why bad things happen to people if God is so incredibly loving and is in full control. Since God is in control, He then either makes things happen or at the very least allows them to happen. So when we are confronted with sad, horrifying, and evil events in this world - we must ask - why God would do them or why God would allow for them to happen. One of the points the pastor made was that sometimes God allows for things to happen in order that He might be glorified through them. In other words, some tragic events lead to the glorification of God.

Which brings us to the blind man from John 3. The text does not say how old this man is - but whatever his age, he had been blind from birth. Jesus explains that his condition is not a result of sin - but simply an opportunity for God to be glorified. Jesus could work a miracle & God's work would be shown. Of course this is a great story - and it does show God's glory & might. Yet how would you like to be the blind guy? He lived all of his life unable to see simply so Jesus could show off God's work at that point in time. Why did God pick him to be blind? Why does God choose any of the situations we all find ourselves in that are out of our control? I would hope that the man would be eternally grateful for Jesus performing that miracle in his life - but wouldn't he rather have simply been able to see his whole life?

When dealing with the struggles & hardships in our life it is easy to think that it would simply be better for God's glory to be displayed without us having to be the projects upon which he uses His ability to do miracles. Yet as I have read this story as well as countless others, I have come to the conclusion that I am far too humanistic in my thought process. As much as I try, I cannot get over the fact that I simply put too much stock in humanity. All of creation was designed to bring God glory - even people. As much as I want to bring this story back to the blind man - or bring my own struggles and problems back to myself - the real story is God. We dwell too often on what we think, feel, and understand without realizing the story is never about us.

So although I am sure that man would have taken sight from birth and God's work to be displayed in a number of other ways it could have been, it wasn't up to that man or to us as listeners of the story. God has a plan, God executed His plan, and that man as well as myself have to simply be thankful to be a recipient of God's grace & glory.