I have a close friend whose parents were separated several years ago. Whenever I saw him, I wondered to myself why this happened to their family even though they were strong believers. I think to myself about what his parents did to deserve a broken family and a broken marriage. This person has been one of the greatest encouragements in my spiritual walk and truly pushes me to live closer to the Lord just through his words and testimony. When I think of the background of how he was raised, I know that he had to have godly parents to encourage and lead him in the ways of the Lord. But if being godly parents couldn’t protect their marriage then what was the reason that this happened to them?
With this line of thinking, I left out a major component, God’s ways are above man’s ways and God’s thoughts are greater than man’s thoughts. At the end of the day, God will do what He needs to do to bring glory to Himself. God is a just God and will punish sin when He sees it but at the same time, the effect that sin has on others can be a way that He brings glory to Himself through a sad situation. We see a firsthand example of this in the following passage:
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. | John 9:1-7
Have you ever recognized a sad situation around you? A child whose parents have recently gotten a divorce, an individual who has fallen into major sickness, or someone who has lost everything near and dear to them? My first inclination when I see a situation like that is to wonder to myself, what did they do wrong for them to end up like that?
That is the same question that the disciples pose to Christ when they see the blind man sitting on the side of the road. They felt that it had to be the sin of someone that caused it. We see that is not the case based on Christ’s response.
Christ promptly tells them that sometimes things like this happen so God might be glorified. Just by the world seeing the struggle of these individuals and how great of an effect God’s hand will have in their lives or the glory that He will ultimately receive is the reason why some of these instances exist – not always due to sin, as some of our minds are quick to think.
The purpose of pointing this out was two-fold for Christ. He wanted to teach and inform the disciples to change their perspective, as well as convey to them a sense of need and urgency. Christ goes on to explain to them that the daylight is short and there is only a short while they will have to work for Him.
What He intended to convey by this is that in the short time we have on earth, we must use each and every opportunity to glorify the Father through instances such as these. When we use these sad situations to turn and glorify His name, it honors the Father and shares the testimony of Christ to those who are around us.
So the next time that we see one of these heartbreaking cases, let’s not just stand on the side and pity the individuals involved, but actually do something about it so that God is ultimately glorified!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. | Isaiah 55:8-9