John 9

Day 9/21: Who Is Responsible For This Pain?

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

January 22, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

If I do not sit with you, I lose sight. I lose sight of the bigger story – the actual story. It is not difficult to lose sight, I find it happens very easily and very quickly. In fact, I have to be with You to see the story with any kind of truth. When I sit with You in the morning, I see it. As the day goes on…I have to consciously keep clearing my eyes.

I quickly lose track of the plot as my own part in it is affected by how I interpret “the happenings.” I lose track of Your intentions as the Author, especially as other characters interact with me. I don’t know how to read the plot at times, I want to flip forward a few pages rather than allow things to unfold in the particular event I am in.

I don’t like some of the scenes, Lord. Especially the ones in size 8 font where the text fills page, after page, after page. Could this scene not resolve itself so we can move on? Sometimes I think You ask a lot of me. “And you don’t ask enough of Me,” I hear Your Spirit say. Noted.

As I am reading John 9 the chapter begins with the story of another blind man. The disciples ask a common question, “What went wrong with this guy?” Actually it is more pointed then that; it is a judgement on him and/or his family. What did they do wrong for this tragedy to happen?

Your answer is fresh to me today even though I have read this page many times. I have a “green leaf” beside it for a reason: it is such a life giving, life shaping answer. You say,

I put a green leaf in my Bible when I come across a verse that contains a truth that, if lived out or held close, really leads to a “green” (opposite to brittle) life. In this case, if I really owned this I wouldn’t resent tough circumstances so much and would live with more freedom as I go through it…

I put a green leaf in my Bible when I come across a verse that contains a truth that, if lived out or held close, really leads to a “green” (opposite to brittle) life. In this case, if I really owned this I wouldn’t resent tough circumstances so much and would live with more freedom as I go through it…

“Neither this man or his parents sinned…but this happened so that the work of GOD might be displayed in his life…” (9:3)

And then You go on to connect this work (the miracle that You were about to do) as the kind of thing one does as “day-work” versus the ceasing of labor when the night comes and makes it impossible.

Two things here:

First, that this man’s issue was not a consequence of sin and was not a waste of time. In fact his blindness would be completely used by You to “let in the light of GOD” as You extended mercy to him through it.

Second, my life lived out in the light is to be about a work greater than just musing about why bad things happen My life is to be about revealing the light in all situations, over and over again.

And now I come back to the bigger story. I see how one of Satan’s most effective temptations is to get me to dissect troubling situations; analyze them, to somehow try to explain them. What a trap it is. If it is easily explainable (pain due to my sin, someone else’s sin, or the sin of the world) then I can move to the next square as described in the Bible by receiving forgiveness or extending forgiveness and then I must GET ON WITH THINGS. There is work to be done while it is day!

This story is clearly about the “other” kinds of situations where an explanation isn’t obvious in the moment.

Could it be that as I am living out a plot-line not of my own fault or choosing, there is a greater thing at play? Will this bring me to hate GOD for allowing it, for not fixing it presently? Or will I be able worship You for what You will do through it? Very important question and not easily answered. I don’t hate You GOD. I don’t think I am even angry, am I? But I definitely am sad more often then I like and I am not necessarily thanking You either.

Not to forget…Satan’s goal is for me to doubt You, blame You, distance myself from You and others, live in misery, and lose hope for victory. He knows the scenarios where these temptations work so effectively.

I find that when I am walking through troubles like these, the GOD I adore easily becomes

the GOD I am frustrated with,

the GOD I don’t understand,

the GOD I beg.

And this brings me back to the beginning of my time with You here Jesus. This chapter in John is like a mile-high sandwich of truth. I have only taken a tiny bite.

Are you good even now, even in “this thing” that pains me? I am asking You, Holy Spirit, please stretch my mind to understand Your Good. Help me to see good in the silence and in the incremental movement as much as I see you as good in the instantaneous, answer. Help me to see your goodness, the miracle at play, in it all.

*** I hear You saying a few things to me today. I can and should ask You for more. I can ask You to do greater things in me. I want to have the mind of Christ. I cannot achieve this. I need You, Jesus, to change me. I need You to melt my heart down and reform it. Word of GOD speak. Mind, will, heart, soul, be submissive to your Maker. I am calling you to this.

Also, defiance is very motivating to me. The idea that praying is an act of defiance against Satan and demonstrates an allegiance and POURS love out to Jesus is very motivating. Today, to know that Satan wants to pull me away from GOD in times of struggles-I-do-not-understand makes me feel even more like hanging tightly onto Jesus. I want to be shoulder to shoulder with You, Jesus when I am feeling especially vulnerable and doubting. “Where is Jesus? Find Him NOW. We need to talk!” I want to be defiant against the evil one who would have the audacity to try to get between me and Jesus. Not happening.

Mold me into something new and something more Alive.