“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'” – John 9:1-3
There are people I know who would have been right there with the disciples asking this question. Maybe I would have been one of them. I see how they look at me, pitying me, wishing I would just do the one thing they believe I’m not doing that would make me well. And if I really think hard enough, I understand. I think these things about myself. What am I not learning fast enough? What am I doing to block God’s healing of my body? Why is this taking so long? Surely God would heal me if I was doing this one extra thing. What am I doing wrong? Oh, my friends. These are lies. Jesus wants to use our suffering for God’s glory. He wants to give us more of Him.
“‘How then were your eyes opened?’ they demanded. ‘He replied, ‘The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.'” – John 9:10-11
I am doing everything I know to do and becoming more comfortable by the day with waiting on God. Grace is my favorite word these days. If I could get a tattoo, that’s what it would say. Grace. Maybe if we plastered it on our foreheads we’d remember it better. I’m thankful that only God knows how to heal me and I’ve quit worrying about it so much. I’d rather experience a miracle than work myself and our bank account to the bone trying to heal myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up. On the contrary. I’m just giving up more of my striving and expecting God’s healing in whatever form it comes. I’m only doing the things for my health that He’s leading me to do. I’m not grasping at every straw anymore. And the peace I am experiencing is allowing me to exhale more fully.
“‘We know he is our son,’ the parents answered, ‘and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.’ His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.” – John 9:20-22
This man’s parents didn’t even stand up for him. They basically threw him under the bus because they were afraid of being put out of the synagogue, which was pretty much excommunication. The people who were supposed to protect him most did not do so. How that must have hurt. It’s painful when those we love don’t stand by us. I’ve had to distance myself from the people who can’t understand why I’m still suffering, if they haven’t already distanced themselves. It’s a terrible loss when those you love have such a poor theology of suffering that they can’t stand to watch it and walk away, or perhaps worse, blame the sufferer.
“A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. ‘Give glory to God,’ they said. ‘We know this man is a sinner.’ He replied, ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!'” – John 9:24-25
But in spite of the losses, the doubts, and the continued lack of health, I am seeing a deeper healing. One thing I know. I was blind but now I see! And the view from here is breathtaking.
“Then they asked him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He answered, ‘I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?'” – John 9:27
How I relate to this man! Mr. Sassy Shorts here has had enough! I love it. I have quite a bit of sass as well… it has been mentioned. He’s just trying to celebrate his miracle and the pharisees keep bugging him. Let the man enjoy his sight, for crying out loud!
“To this they replied, ‘You were steeped in sin at birth, how dare you lecture us!’ And they threw him out.” – John 9:34
So they threw him out. Excommunicated for receiving a miracle and believing the One who delivered.
“Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’… Then the man said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped him.” – John 9:35, 38
Jesus came to this rejected, unprotected, isolated man who had just lost his entire community. Jesus not only healed his body, but stayed around to heal his spirit as well. Isn’t that dear? Jesus is so loving. This man who had just lost everything while gaining his sight believed Jesus and worshiped.
Jesus was enough for this man. Jesus was his defender, saying that sin did not cause his blindness. Jesus was his healer in more ways than one. He opened his eyes to the physical world and the spiritual one. He opened his eyes to Jesus. Jesus became everything to him. He had nothing but Jesus, and that was enough.
I am learning to embrace Jesus as my defender. When the old voices of perfectionism return to tell me I must not be doing enough to be healed, or the looks and off-hand comments from others cut deep, I know and speak the truth to myself that my sin is covered by the blood of Jesus. Jesus is already my healer, though I am not yet healthy. He has opened my eyes to Himself. He is becoming everything to me. I have lost so much and many people who were dear to me, but I have gained more Jesus. And He is more than enough.
If your world is crumbing down, how my heart aches for you. I know this question is difficult. Is Jesus enough for you? My prayers are with you.