What am I doing wrong???

So many good people I know have said that lately.

Hey, I’ve been tempted to ask it myself from time to time.

It can be so tempting to think that, in despair, when things are going “wrong” in our lives, and when blessings seem so far off. Looking around at the happenings in our world right now, so many good people are suffering, and I am sure this question has come to many of them, just as it has to me from time to time.

Christ’s disciples asked Him the same thing. At one time, Christ passed by a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, basically, “Who sinned? This man, or his parents?” In other words, “What did he do wrong, that God punished him?”

I love Christ’s answer:

Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

That the works of God should be made manifest in him. The blindness wasn’t a punishment. Think of how long that man must have been blind, and waiting, hoping for relief. He wasn’t being punished. His blindness was an opportunity for God’s works to be shown through him.

The man was healed, and there is much more to the story, but Christ’s answer has stayed with me today. Who knows how many people came to know and love Christ, because they saw that the blind man’s eyes had been opened? If he had not suffered in blindness, those people may not have learned of Christ. Even more importantly, the blind man himself may never have been able to have the joy of coming unto the Savior.

The trials in our lives are not punishments to us. They are gifts to us, opportunities to see the works of God in our own lives. If not for my own trials, I know that I never could have come to understand the profound love that Christ has for me. I would not trade my own proverbial “years of blindness” for anything.

picture: “Reflections of Christ: Healing”

Just an afterthought, or really, another thought, about this same story.

The blind man, after being healed, was severely persecuted by the Pharisees, because he dared to admit that Christ was of God. (Nothing seemed to anger the Pharisees more than Christ having the audacity to heal on the Sabbath day.) The poor man was left alone, because even his parents were afraid of the Pharisees. After being derided by the Pharisees for standing up boldly for Christ, he was cast out of the synagogue, which I have to imagine was a really big thing back then.

But he wasn’t left on his own. Christ, after hearing that the man had been cast out, went back and found the man and comforted him. He taught the man, who immediately followed the Savior.

Christ’s kindness never ceases to amaze me. He is so very kind.

We’re never alone, either. Not while we’re going through our trials, and not after.

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