“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Why?

This is the first question people ask of God when something doesn’t go according to the plan. You lose a job. Your marriage falls apart. You lose a loved one. You receive a diagnosis you weren’t expecting. You lose a child. You can’t conceive a child. The list goes on.

We ask why. Why me? Why did this happen? What did I do to deserve this?

In John 9, Jesus answers that question for all of us. He and His disciples come upon a man blind from birth. The first question asked is “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Immediately, this thought that all of our circumstances come out of decisions we make or our sins comes to question. Jesus answers simply, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” That it, y’all. That’s the point. God is working things together that His glory and goodness might be displayed.

I think when we focus on this “why,” we are shifting our focus onto self rather than our Creator. We are saying that we are better than our circumstances. This shouldn’t happen to me. Maybe someone else, but not me. We cheat ourselves in thinking that our circumstances come from how “good” of a person we are or what we have done for the Lord. It’s not about that. And that is not to say that striving to be like Jesus and be for His Kingdom is futile. But we do not do so wholeheartedly if our aim is for reward. And I think our motives come into light when we sit and ask, “why?” when things go wrong. It’s really saying, “Where is my reward?”

Focusing on why, takes our focus away from the true why, if that makes sense. I have had so many people look at us with pity and some have even said “I don’t know why this happens” or “I am sorry this happened to you/your son.” I am here to squash that method of thinking. My son is here just the way he is ON PURPOSE, FOR A PURPOSE. He is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of his Creator ‘so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’

I will not ask God why Evan is the way he is. I know why. Evan was created for a purpose grander than we could have ever imagined for him. His life brings glory back to God. His struggles and his triumphs display God’s goodness and faithfulness. He has been created perfectly for his true purpose on this Earth. I have no doubt that Evan’s life and his story will bring people to Christ. It may have already done so. I know we have experienced more intimacy with the Lord than ever before through this past year. For that, I am eternally grateful.

The story in John 9 goes on to show Jesus spit in the dirt and rub it on the blind man’s eyes to give him his sight back. In this time, a blind beggar would most certainly have experienced people spitting in the dirt around him to show their contempt for him. So when Jesus chooses this way to heal him, I think it is significant. Our road to redemption is often messy. The hard things placed before us can shout the lie to us that we are not worthy. Jesus’s spit doesn’t say “you are not worthy,” his says, “I make you worthy.”

I challenge you (and myself) to choose to see His goodness in your circumstances. To stop asking “why me” and focus on Him. To stop thinking that doing good in this world will gain you favor and an easy life. To remember that faith doesn’t say “what if” it says, “even if.” To rest your heart in His truth rather than the lies your circumstances bring to the surface.

You are loved. You are chosen. You are worthy in His sight.

*Featured image credit goes to Ashley Powell Photography*

Published by

Brooke Norton

I am a follower of Christ, wife, mama of a medically complex kiddo, and a coffee enthusiast. I have created this space because I feel called to share our story of hope, heartache, and undeniable grace from our good and beautiful God. This will be a space of unapologetic honesty when it comes to parenting my sweet Evan. At times what I say may offend some, but I will shout our truth loudly because that is what Jesus calls us to. This is our story. This is our everyday. This is our Evan.

5 thoughts on ““Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?””

  1. Girl!! Such beautiful and perfect truth. Thank you for sharing and for walking this walk reflecting the light of Jesus.

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  2. Brooke, your words speak volumes. I’m not good at exact Bile quotes, but the apostle Paul says we should be grateful for the thorn in our side as it brings us closer to God. Evan is loved and cherished and a perfect Evan❤️

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  3. Brooke — I think this just might be the most beautiful thing you have written so far. This line especially went straight to my soul: ” I think when we focus on this “why,” we are shifting our focus onto self rather than our Creator. We are saying that we are better than our circumstances.” I have heard this idea expressed before, of course (I’m 53 after all! haha) BUT I don’t think I’ve ever heard it put quite this way. And to hear something anew in a way that feels so profound is a gift. Your words will stay with me for a very long time I expect.

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