There are stories in the Bible you read over and over again. You think you have them memorized. You think you know all the details. You may even think there is nothing new you can learn from the story because you have heard it so many times.
One day last week as I was sitting outside the center I was asked what I had read earlier that morning. After talking for a little while I then returned the question and said, “So then what did you read this morning?” The summary of the response was a little something like this, “I read about the blind man being healed at the pool of Siloam. I know God had a reason for me to read this passage he just hasn’t revealed it to me yet. I have read it before but I know there is something new for me to learn. I’m waiting on him to show me what he wants to teach me through this story today.”
The next morning I sat down at my desk to read the book I have been studying when it said to open my Bible to John 9. As soon as I began reading I laughed because it was the story I had just had a conversation about the day before.
Later that afternoon I was sitting at the center when someone mentioned how as a child their life was so hard but now they had been given so much and they didn’t know what they did to earn it. They didn’t know what they did to deserve the bad things that happened to them as a child and they didn’t know why now they were blessed with good things. My mind immediately went back to my reading from earlier in the morning.
“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 works of God might be displayed in him.’”- John 9:1-3
The conversation that ensued was so uplifting to be able to explain God doesn’t bring about trials in our life as punishment but all because he wants his power to be displayed in our lives.
Fast forward a few days later and I’m reading a new book before bed when, you guessed it, the author begins telling a story about John 9:3. She goes on to talk about how disease and sickness and poverty are not sins. Instead they are circumstances that allow for God’s work to be displayed in our lives.
From that very first conversation about how we can always learn something new from the Bible to the moment I was laying in bed reading a book when the same verse showed up I am confident God was there in every moment. When he wants to teach me something he shows it to me over and over again until I stop being stubborn and finally listen.
This morning I can’t help but wonder if you need to hear these same things. If you need to know the trials and struggles you are facing this morning are not because God wants you to suffer and be punished. You are facing these struggles for quite the opposite reason.
If you are walking through cancer with a beloved family member…. so that the works of God may be displayed in your life
If your kid got in a fight at school yesterday….so that the works of God may be displayed in your life
If you had a wreck this morning and your car is now in the shop… so that the works of God may be displayed in your life
If your boss is demanding more than you have time to handle…. so that the works of God may be displayed in your life
If you received a notice your bill is overdue again this month…. so that the works of God may be displayed in your life
God wants you to choose him through your trials so that he might be glorified. So that his power might be seen in your life. So that his works can be displayed in you.