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OPINION | CHESTINE SIMS JR.: When Life Hurts

by Chestine Sims Jr. Special to The Commercial | June 18, 2021 at 2:30 a.m.

In John chapter 9, we read about a man who was in a desperate situation. Jesus was passing by, and he ran into a man who had been blind from birth (John 9:1). He had never seen a sunset or the face of a child. He had lived in darkness his entire life.

Jesus’ disciples raise a question. They ask, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). In other words, who’s responsible for this mess? Who’s to blame?

The disciples did what we often do; they turned an opportunity to minister into a debate. The truth is when you’re blind you want to see. You don’t want a lot of discussions. Have you ever had people well-meaning people quote Bible verses to you at the wrong time when what you need is help?

James talks about that in (James 2:15-16). He says if a man comes knocking on your door and he’s hungry he wants to know if you will give him some food and you start up with him a conversation on prayer. You grab your Bible and say God answers prayer.

James raises the question, “what good is that?” The man needs food, not a discussion on prayer. It’s not that prayer is not essential, but there comes a time when you must move from discussing the Bible to doing it.

Jesus responds to the disciples’ question by saying, “neither this man nor his parent sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him (John 9:3).” Jesus says this man was born blind for a purpose. God allowed darkness to seep into this man’s life from his mother’s womb because God had something planned today.

In other words, Jesus is saying you may never understand it, but life hurts sometimes. And the pain is not necessarily the result of something you’ve done wrong. God is at work. He is always up to something. Even on your most miserable day, God is up to something. He is always working for your good (Romans 8:28).

Jesus spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, smoothed the mud over the blind man’s eyes, and told him to wash. So, the man went and washed and came back seeing (John 9:6-7).

Jesus could have spoken to this man and healed him. He could have waved at him and removed his dark spot. But instead, He chose to make a mud pie and put it on the man’s eyes. The point of the miracle isn’t just making a blind man see.

Jesus was a miracle worker. He raised the dead back to life. He healed a paralyzed person. He calmed waves and walked on water. He fed 5,000 people with a few fish and loaves of bread.

Jesus said this man was born so that the works of God might be displayed in his life (John 9:3). Jesus wanted him to be a walking billboard that shows God’s love, mercy, and grace, a walking advertisement that illustrates the compassion and care of God. He was born blind so that at the right moment, Jesus could display his divine power by healing him. This man had no idea that he was about to receive his sight. This brother woke up on that amazing morning to the same darkness that had enveloped him his entire life. He was a miracle waiting to happen. Even when life hurts, miracles can still occur.

Be encouraged!

Rev. Chestine Sims Jr.of White Hall is pastor of Union AME Church at Little Rock. Please join us for worship on Facebook live at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Editor’s note:

Pastors, ministers or other writers interested in writing for this section may submit articles to [email protected] Please include your phone number and the name and location of your church or ministry.

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