We look and see this good God has wrought, and in an effort to give testimony about what He has done, we say something like, “At the time I didn’t understand why we all went through this, but now I see clearly what God was doing.” It’s a noble attempt, and it certainly has the right spirit behind it, but maybe – just maybe – we are yet again making the same mistake as Job’s friends and the disciples: We are presuming to know the reason behind suffering. And here we should tread very lightly.
As he was passing by, 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,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We must do the works of him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world,” (John 9:1-5).
The disciples asked a straightforward question, albeit one that was founded on an assumption. They assumed that the man’s blindness was due to sin – some kind of punishment brought upon him either because of his own transgressions or that of his parents. Jesus, though, let them know right quick that their question was flawed. The blindness wasn’t due to some latent sin in the man’s life or that of his parents, but instead there was another purpose for it. It was a purpose that the disciples could not see – a purpose, you might say, they themselves were blind to.
For our part, there are a lot of things we can learn here. We can learn, for example, that God takes the most unlikely of things and uses them for His own glory.