In John 9 the disciples of Jesus saw a man blind from birth. And the disciples asked Jesus, “Teacher, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind.” The disciples assumed the man’s blindness was directly related to sin. Why did they think that way? Because sin does bring disaster. When you tell a lie, gossip, refuse to forgive, practice homosexuality, use God’s name in vain, set wickedness before your eyes (i.e. continue watching something you know Jesus would never watch with you) or let fear stop you from doing what’s right, there are divine consequences. God is a wise Father who will discipline His kids in order to put them back on track and a just God that punishes the sin of His enemies.
However, there are situations that are painful and confusing that people can experience that are not divine discipline or punishment. And in John 9 the blind man was one of those examples. Jesus said to his disciples, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Then Jesus healed the man and God was glorified by it. The man was born blind for the glory of God.
What is your “disaster?” Maybe it is a physical limitation. Maybe it is a disease, horrific loss, or broken relationship. Maybe it is Covid-19. Regardless of what it is, today I encourage you to do one of two things. First, I want you to be honest with God. I want you to ask Him whether or not your “disaster” has to do with personal sin. Perhaps your walk with God has not been your defining priority and God is using this whole Shut-down to take away all the distractions and bring you back to Himself. Perhaps you have been involved in a relationship that you know is sinful. Perhaps your “disaster” is a broken relationship, yet you are not taking the God-honoring and commanded initiative to mend that relationship. Be honest. And if it you do see sin in your life, confess, repent, ask for forgiveness and experience the welcoming, forgiving, and restoring arms of your Father.
Second, if it is not a result of sin, I want you to do something else. I want you to consider all the ways you could utilize the “disaster” God has given/allowed into your life to magnify His name. I recently watched a man speak with no arms and literally six-inch flipper like things for His legs. And it was clear. He was born that way for the glory of God. His body was a God-given “disaster,” that he was using to magnify God’s name. Recently, Dan Wiles has experienced a “disaster” with His health. Yet every time I have talked with Him, He thanks God for his “disaster” and glorifies God! Carla Freed has been trusting and praising God amidst her battle with cancer. Dave Wood has taken the opportunity to share the gospel with those who treated his cancer. When my mom died it was a “disaster.” But as a family we put on the biggest celebration we could to thank God for her life on earth and her new life with Christ in Glory. What are you going to do with your “disaster?”
Today, instead of seeing your “disaster” as a burden, I encourage you to see it as an opportunity. A God given opportunity to return to Him and/or point to His magnificent name with boldness.