There are so many things that go through your mind when you face circumstances in your life that are tragic. As I have read through the Scriptures I see that even Jesus’ disciples first thoughts when confronted with someone in a tragic situation was to ask, “whose fault is this,” or “why?” I am not one who believes that asking “why” offends God or makes Him mad. I think it is normal and really I believe God even expects us to ask questions when we find ourselves in those tragic circumstances.
Jesus and the disciples ran in to a blind man in John 9:1-5. He had been blind since birth, and as mentioned, the first thoughts of the disciples were to be able to have a reason, to understand why this horrible situation existed. After all, if something bad happens, someone has to be at fault, right? So they immediately thought that either the man who was blind, or his parents had sinned. Some how, they had been so bad that God decided he would punish them by giving them a blind son. Their view of God was that of some powerful and demanding overlord that would punish you physically if you did something bad. How awful to have those first thoughts of a loving and gracious God. Certainly God could do that if he pleased. Certainly God has every right to punish those who sin. But that is not how God works.
Jesus replied to the disciples request to place blame with another view of the situation. He says in John 9:3
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
It was not a matter of sin on anyone’s behalf. It was a matter of God wanting to do something that people would look at the situation and say, “Only God could have done that, it had to be a God thing.” When you think about it, how awesome is it to be someone that God chooses for His works to be displayed?
As we look at our circumstances with our son Josiah, we certainly would say that we wish we never had to face this. I think as parents this is a normal thought, to remove pain for our kids. It is not our choosing; it is not easy. You never want to see your child hurting, even to the point of struggling to breath. Though we would take this from him if we could, we would also would stand here and say “this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” We believe Josiah is alive and will make a full recovery so that God will be lifted up and those that look at Josiah will only be able to say, “Only God could have done this.”
It is God that sends the rain that allows the harvest. It is God that brings winter that turns to spring. God is sovereign. He is in control. That does not change in the good or the bad of life. We hold to that as we look at the works of God displayed in our family.