The first time I met Art Linkletter of “Kids Say the Darndest Things” fame, the president of Awana was leading him on a tour of its headquarters. Linkletter remarked on the cleanliness of Awana’s floors and then quipped, “You must not allow spitting!”
When Jesus healed the man born blind, he spat on the ground and made a kind of clay that he put on the blind man’s eyes. This healing that started with Jesus’ spit created far more controversy than if Linkletter had drooled all over Awana’s bright, shiny floors.
The controversy started with Jesus’ own disciples: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:1).
Jesus opposed this judgmental attitude that assigned physical ailments to specific sins. Jesus said that neither the blind man nor his parents had sinned. The purpose of the blindness was that “the works of God should be revealed in him,” (John 9:3).
About Jesus healing the man born blind, theologian Warren Wiersbe wrote: “To blame a specific disability on a specific sin committed by specific persons is certainly beyond any man’s ability or authority. Only God knows why babies are born with handicaps, and only God can turn those handicaps into something that will bring good to the people and glory to His name.”
Our natural tendency is toward self sufficiency, pride and arrogance. Often, we have to be humbled in order to realize our need.
The effects of Adam’s original sin are everywhere. When Jesus returns to establish his kingdom, sickness, disabilities and even sorrow itself will take a permanent holiday.
“We should have faith in God at all times,” says Samuel, 8. “We should trust Him and never not trust Him to help us. We should always believe Him at all costs.”
Faith in the Lord looks at physical ailments through the window of God’s goodness and power. God uses our weaknesses to draw us closer to him.
After my femur was shattered in a car accident, I woke up in a hospital bed after a long surgery unable to move my leg. I wondered if I would ever walk again. Through the long months of therapy that restored my ability to walk, I noticed that my compassion for the sick and disabled increased. God uses weakness to do a work in us for his glory.
“God loves everybody,” says Brody, 8. “The people that did not care about the blind man were selfish and did not care about anybody else. But God still loves them.”
After such a miraculous healing, you would think people would be glorifying God with jumping-up-and-down joy. Not so. Some of the blind man’s neighbors even said that he only looked like the man born blind. The man born blind had to tell his own neighbors, “I am he,” (John 9:9).
Don’t be surprised if people think you’re crazy when you tell them how God used your ailment or tragedy to glorify himself. I know a blind man like this. My missionary friend Dean Chollar uses his blindness to glorify God. Through his ministry, Crossway International, Dean travels to Kenya, Nicaragua and other countries doing water projects and starting schools for poor people.
Think about this: God wants to reveal his glory to us and to others even in our sicknesses and disabilities.
Memorize this truth: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28).
Ask this question: What weakness is God using to draw you to himself?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2020 CAREY KINSOLVING