Disclaimers: First, the goal of this post is to share how this verse has helped me. The great thing about the Bible is that, while it’s not “open to interpretation”, it can speak to us in different ways. Second, though I happen to fall into multiple marginalized groups, I am still extremely privileged so I can only speak from my experience.
John 9:1-5 NIV As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, 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.”
Honestly, there are plenty of moments in ancient and recent history that would make any sane person question the goodness of God. We came pre-packaged with some internal and circumstantial stuff when we where born and that stuff is not dependent on your spiritual proclivities.
I found this verse (more like it found me) after I’d stopped running and fully pursued my faith again. It answered a question I’d assumed would stay unanswered:
A warning, this answer can be both freeing and frustrating: “So that the works of God might be displayed in him“
Let’s not sugarcoat it; that answer has a high potential to piss people off and I wouldn’t blame them, especially those who’ve had a particularly traumatic struggle. But it’s an answer nonetheless.
Even if the answer isn’t what we want to hear, hopefully you don’t miss the opportunity to relieve some of the weight when you read “Neither this man nor his parents sinned.”
It’s not your fault. It’s not your parents fault. It’s no ones fault.
It’s not a perfect analogy, but I liken all of this to forces of nature. You can study them and usually identify how, but ‘how’ doesn’t answer ‘why’. You may find correlation, but remember “correlation does not imply causation.” And just like in forces of nature, knowing all the information doesn’t change much in the way you handle them. The rain falls on my head just as it does the meteorologist’s. We both need to pack a raincoat or umbrella.
“God, why was I born this way?” “So that the works of God might be displayed in you.”
It’s not at all the answer I was expecting or hoping for, but it told me what I needed to know to move forward. So that’s why I’m here writing this blog, explaining these Bible verses, coaching these ministries, families, and people… so that the works of God might be displayed in me and as long as it is day, I must do the works of him who sent me.