Don’t try and figure out the fairness in why certain things happen. The world isn’t fair. Evil people are rewarded in this life. Good people suffer. That’s what we face in a world corrupted by our sin. The good news is that God is in control and even the things which are horrible God still finds some way to turn around for good. For instance:
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 was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work 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.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. – John 9:1-7, ESV
The man was blind from birth and the disciples figured that the blindness was a punishment, either on the man or his parents. This was the traditional teaching of that time and it is the conclusion a lot in our time, too. Our society talks about karma and how people get what is coming to them. If you’re a believer, don’t fall into that trap. If we got what should be coming to us for our sins, there would only be eternal condemnation to hell. That’s what our sins deserve. No exceptions. However, God in His infinite mercy has chosen to pardon those who believe and have faith in His Son, Jesus, and it is solely by grace that we do not receive the punishment we so completely deserve. When we talk about fair, we usually mean other people answering for the wrongs they’ve done. We don’t usually include ourselves in the mix. But we ought to, and as we do, we suddenly should realize that if we were to suffer the punishment due us, it would be unbearable. Sort of changes the perspective, doesn’t it?
So since we’ve dispensed with this idea of fairness because it’s not a reality, why then was this man born blind? Was it because of something his parents did? Was it because of a sin he would commit? No. Simply, God allowed the situation to occur so that the miracle of God might be displayed with him as an example. Stop right there. Sometimes God allows me through trials through no sinful behavior of my own, but because He wants to shine through that situation in some way? Absolutely.
Let me give you an example. It was August of last year. I was in Nashville, TN, at a technical conference. Sitting across the table from me was a gentleman named Joe, a fellow Christian brother. I had met him once before, years ago, at another technical conference, but met is all there was time for: hellos, a quick exchange of names, and a handshake. Over the years we’ve talked via email, via Twitter, and God drew us together. Then October 30th, 2009, we lost the twins. One of the first people who reached out to me after finding out was Joe. He and his wife had been there. So in August we weren’t talking about technical things. I was still struggling with the loss of the twins. So Joe and I talked about that. We talked a lot. We talked about God’s grace in his own experience. He was honest. He was understanding and compassionate. And sharing that experience with him really started the healing process for me. God shone through.
Sometimes the most difficult times are the ones God is reserving to come upon us in an overwhelming way. As Joe and I talked, I could hear the hurt and the pain from his experience. But on that August day he was able to minister to me in a way few others could. Joe and the talk we had was the miracle that began my own healing. I won’t pretend to understand why God didn’t allow us to welcome the twins into this world, but I know it was part of His overall plan and it was something that happened within His will. I know that through that loss, the work of God will be displayed. In my own life, the loss of those boys gave me some idea of what my Father experienced when He gave over His own Son to the Cross. He had the opportunity to snatch Him back at any time. He could have told Jesus , “No, You will not go,” in the Garden of Gethsemane. But He didn’t. His will was for Jesus to save us. God knows what it is like to face the toughest of times.
So if you find yourself in a tough spot now, remember, God will use it to display His work. He hasn’t left you. He’s not going to leave you. He is there with you, even when it is darkest. Maybe God is working on a miracle right now. If you’re okay but a friend or family member is having a tough time, maybe God wants to use you to be part of His work. Maybe you can’t identify with what they are going through. But you can be there. If you can understand what that person is going through, maybe God wants you to be a Joe in that person’s life. Seek God and He will show you.