As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 Jesus’ disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed in him. 4 While it’s daytime, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After he said this, he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smeared the mud on the man’s eyes. 7 Jesus said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (this word means sent). So the man went away and washed. When he returned, he could see. John 9:1-7, CEB
Yesterday, I began the devotional by talking about an article I read that indicated that the bible doesn’t necessarily answer all of our questions about how God interacts with the world. Why is there evil? Why is there suffering? Many have tried to answer these questions by saying human sin is the reason. The book of Job resists that. This passage, too, resists.
What we see in Job, and in this passage too, in a different way, is a God who is present in the world, and with His people, regardless of what is going on in the world. We should hesitate before telling people that their sin caused their circumstances. We should hesitate to believe people when they tell us our sin caused our circumstances. This isn’t because our “sin” (or our commitment to living life outside of God’s plans and purposes) doesn’t matter. Our propensity to sin isn’t something we ignore or take lightly. But, to use it as the answer to all of the world’s problems (or even just all of our problems) is simply too easy and asks us to ignore too much.
We don’t get the benefit of simple answers and simple explanations. But what we do get is a God is committed to remaining faithfully present as a comforter. We may not know why bad things have happened to us or why we struggle, but we do know that God understands suffering and continues to stand behind us while it happens.
If we’re not going to get answers, then “getting” God may just be a pretty good consolation prize.