Once upon a time, a young couple, perhaps newly married and full of hopes and dreams, received the joyous news that they were expecting a baby. “It will be son,” boasted the proud father-to-be, praying that if he said it out loud, he could somehow will it into truth. “Let him be healthy”, said the mother as she stroked her belly and hummed lullabies.
In due time, the day came for their child to be born, and through tears of joy they learned that they did indeed have a son. A son! Praise the Lord! He was perfect and beautiful, and was the embodiment of all their prayers and dreams. Perfect, that is, until they realized that their son had been born blind. The young couple, utterly shocked and dismayed, no doubt wrestled with God on this sudden change of plans. I envision tears and pain…tirades and anger…fear and hurt. I can almost hear them asking, “But, Lord, what have we done wrong?!” The agony of such a realization surely ripped them to the core, living as they did in a time when physical defect was a thing of shame, and knowing instantly that their precious son would be reduced to the status of a mere beggar.
I know the story of another couple, also newly married and full of hopes and dreams, who, after praying for a child and surviving the struggle of infertility treatments, received the joyous news that they too were expecting a baby. At their first ultrasound appointment, that joy was magnified triple-fold when three tiny heartbeats appeared on the screen. “Just let them be healthy,” was the unison prayer lifted that day.
But life took a turn for this couple as well, when just 6 months into the pregnancy, an emergency c-section was performed, and three tiny, underdeveloped baby boys were lifted from the safety of their mother’s womb. Then, just six days later, the monitor above one bed was turned off, and a still, tiny bundle was handed to over his grieving parents to hold for the first and only time. “He fought hard” was the best comfort that could be offered that day.
This young couple also began to wrestle with God. “Why, Lord, why? Why give us three to just take one away? What did we do wrong?!”
As Jesus was walking along, He saw a man who had been blind from birth. "Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it the result of his own sin or that of his parents?" "It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,’ Jesus answered. He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 9:1-3
Instantly, a curse had been turned to honor. Grief to privilege. Sorrow to joy! Imagine the realization for that couple, of suddenly knowing that before he was even born, their son had been chosen by God to reveal Christ’s glory and power. That his years of heartache and rejection had only been for God’s good. That they had never done anything so wrong, so ugly, so undeserving, to warrant that fate, but that they had actually been chosen for that struggle, for that purpose, and for God’s beautiful plan.
I’d love to tell you that Christ personally came to me and revealed why my son had to die at only six days of age, but He has not. That is OK. I don’t need to know. All I have to do is trust that nothing in my life is outside of His watchful eye. Everything can be used for His glory.
My friends, I have no doubt that everyone reading this either has, or is, wrestling with God over something. It may be as major as a health crisis, or as small as a bad week at the office. But what we can all celebrate and take comfort in is this: no matter what we are going through, it is not out of God’s control. Nothing in your life is going unnoticed. God has not--nor will he ever--turn His back on you. Everything in your life is a part of God’s beautiful plan.
If we allow God to work His will in our lives, like the blind beggar at the side of Christ, He will reveal His power in us.