"This happened so that the power of God could be seen in him."
This Sunday at HUB we talked again about radical living. I shared two stories about two individuals who have endured very, very hard things in their lives. We all know such stories. The first I shared was about a women who went against doctors' recommendations that she abort her baby, the second about a young person having a parent die. Why did this happen? I know both of these individuals have asked God this question. Why did this awful thing happen? We ask our own questions...why did something happen in my life, or my friends life? Or why am I certain way or why am I not a certain way? Why are my parents divorced? Why aren't I taller/shorter, skinnier/stronger? Why don't I fit in with a certain crowd?
We read about a man who was blind from birth in John 9. The disciples wanted to know...was he blind because he was being punished for his own sins? Was he blind because his parents sinned and this was the consequence? The Message translation has Jesus saying back "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do." Or as the NIV translation said about the man's blindness - "This has happened so that the power of God could be seen in him."
Why do bad things happen to good people? It's a question asked so often. But look what Jesus says - "there is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do." God is bigger than the tragedy. God is good. God is at work. Jesus gave sight to this blind man. What about the other two people? Well my friend who lost a parent - she talks about that being the very event which led her to having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She said if God could take something as awful as losing a parent and bring her to Himself through it - then that is a beautiful thing. She decided to "look instead for what God can do" through her loss - "the power of God can be seen in her."
And what about the woman who was told to abort her baby? You see she was a missionary and through contaminated food or water she contracted amoebic dysentery - meaning she had a parasite in her intenstines. She went into a coma and only through very strong antibiotics did she heal. But before she contracted the disease, she had become pregnant. Only they didn't find out until afterward. After the amoebic dysentery, after the coma, after the strong antibiotic. The doctors told her the baby was a hazard to her own health. The doctors told her the strong medicines had done irreversible damage to her baby. IF (and that was a big if) the baby survived, it would be severely disabled. She said she was going to keep the baby. She cited her Christian faith as her reason. During her pregnancy she almost lost the baby four times. But, on August 14, 1987 Pam Tebow gave birth to Tim Tebow. She decided to "look instead for what God can do" through her struggle - "the power of God can be seen in her."
To God be the glory forever and ever.