We are studying the Gospel of John in PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel). When we reached chapter 9 this week I was very interested by these verses:
"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 (NIV)
I have had many posts about the "bad" things that have happened: my trash can went missing, my car wouldn't start, my son won't sleep, my daughter is sassy. I try to be positive, to look at the bright side. Yet, I still classify these things as negative. I still pat myself on the back for coming through these "tragedies" (it shows you how good my life really is, if I classify these things as tragedies!). Why do I succumb to the world's mindset, that these things are "bad", the result of some one's sin? What if I changed my perspective and said, "My car broke down so that I could see the love of my friends, the integrity of the mechanics and have an opportunity to have specific instances of answered prayer"? Doesn't that take it from something "bad" to something good?
This man probably had been pitied all his life. He couldn't see. His parents were probably plagued with guilt, "What did we do wrong? If only we had...". Perhaps even the man himself spent his time trying to be "perfect" in order to rid himself of the curse of blindness. But this wasn't there to make him or his parents question themselves. It wasn't a curse, or a personal affront. It was all part of a perfect plan. I really need to stop taking things so personally. The Lord is working in my life; if He wasn't I would be dead. :) He doesn't allow these things to happen to frustrate me, make me cry, or cause me desperation. He allows (and sometimes causes) these things to happen so that the work of God might be displayed in my life. That makes these growing things!
I challenge you to not survive the "bad" things but to grow through the unexpected things. I challenge myself, too. I have to resist the urge to classify circumstances, to categorize everything as a positive or a negative. "It's all good" would be an appropriate slogan. These testings of my faith are working to produce perseverance. "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:4 (NIV) NOT LACKING ANYTHING! That is a promise I would like to claim. I still have children that don't obey, a car that no one knows what is wrong with, and a $50 fee paid for a trash can I didn't lose. But those are opportunities for growth. I hope I can be wise enough to take them. I don't want to be "blind" and lose the benefits these things have for me.