John 9:1-3As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been born blind. 2 His disciples asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused him to be born blind? Was it his own or his parents’ sin?”3 Jesus answered, “His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parents’ sins. He is blind so that God’s power might be seen at work in him.
Many of us believe that our suffering happens because we have done something wrong. I will rack my brain when pain and suffering hits my family, “What did I do, God? Why do I deserve this pain?” At the young age of 28, I lost my father to a heart attack. I was 30 weeks pregnant with my first child. When I received the phone call telling me to come home immediately, I knew that my dad’s life was over. As I packed my bag for the trip home, it took everything I had to pack something for his funeral. My mind kept going back in forth. I was torturing myself, “If I bring the dress, aren’t I saying he will die? Aren’t I giving up hope?”
I could barely face my dad in the hospital as he lie in the bed on life support. Pete spent many hours in my dad’s room. He played solitaire and watched my dad’s favorite shows on tv. I sat in the waiting room and cried. I was too busy asking God why He was doing this to me? Why was this happening to me at such a young age? Why would he take away my favorite man in the entire world? What are you thinking God?
God never answered me (at least not in the way that I wanted to hear).
My dad was a Christian, and he believed that heaven was a much better place than earth. If God opened the door to heaven, I guarantee you my dad was the first in line. No regrets. Don’t get me wrong, my dad loved his family, but he loved God more. Meeting God face to face would be a big deal to my dad.
I couldn’t help but be a little mad at my dad for giving up. He didn’t fight this time around. He just let God take him. Thirteen years before this, my dad had suffered a massive heart attack. Honestly, he should have died then, but by the hands of some awesome paramedics, fireman and doctors, he lived. He lived another 13 years with us. So what happened this time around?
I think dad just knew that all was in place this time. He and my mom had made plans for their retirement, their funerals and in the event of their death. My mom was strong and didn’t have any children at home. Most of all, in that 13 years since the first heart attack, my dad had become quite good friends with a man named Christ.
My thoughts were not on any of that the night of my dad’s death. No, my thoughts were more self centered. I can vividly remember that night sitting in the waiting area and wondering why God would take him from me on that day. Had I done something wrong, God? Was I being punished for something in my past?
John 9:3 3 Jesus answered, “His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parents’ sins. He is blind so that God’s power might be seen at work in him.
God doesn’t punish us. Our world is a fallen world. This world is not heaven and we cannot (even as hard as we try) make it heaven. We have free will. We can choose our pathway. Some of us will choose to destroy our very being and ruin this earth. It will happen. Still God will not punish any of us for those choices. He will however somehow choose to use our struggles and pains to reveal His power.
After the floodgate of tears and my own little pity party left me that night, I realized that God loves me and my family, and my dad was in a much happier place. Almost fifteen years have passed, and not many days go by without me thinking of that great man. God’s power was revealed and still is revealed through his death. My faith life took a leap after dad’s death. I knew the importance of God in my life, and realized that everyday I have here on earth is a gift. Each of my children, my husband and my faith are all pillars of strength for me. Sulking and worrying about my future and my past will only cause me to take my eyes off of God. Actually if I keep my eyes on my suffering and pain, then I might miss God’s glory being shown. I might miss that glimpse of God that will appear amidst the pain.