The Pain & the Tears

Today’s Reading: John 9 & 11:1-44; Luke 11:33-36


As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” – John 9:1-5

Don’t we ask this same question all the time – Why has this happened? How could God allow this? Why is this person going through such a difficult time? Our hearts break when we watch those we love get sick; we fall to our knees when a diagnosis changes our lives forever. What did we do? Why has God allowed this suffering? We cannot see the road ahead of us through the pain and tears. What is ahead appears so dark; it is not a journey we want to walk and we beg God to take it away!

Jesus says – I am the light of the world. I will shine my light in the darkness that surrounds you. This has happened so the power of God can be seen in him – in you!

Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing. – John 9:6-7

Later, after the man had been questioned by the Pharisees, Jesus found him and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”

“You have seen him,” Jesus said, and he worshiped Jesus.

Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment – to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” – John 9:35-39

How often do we think our faith is strong until something tragic happens and then we realize we do not have enough faith to get us through this difficult time – we realize we are blind and we need Jesus, the Light of the World, to give us sight. We want to believe – Lord, help us to believe! Strengthen our faith and shine your light into our situation.


Mary and Martha asked similar questions of Jesus when their brother died. They were grieving and begging Jesus to explain himself – to do something!

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” – John 11:21-22

When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” – John 11:32

Before arriving, Jesus had told his disciples, “Lazarus’ sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this” (John 11:4). Later, at Lazarus’ grave, Jesus said, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” (John 11:40-44).

Why has this happened? So that we can see – so that we can see the Light of the World and believe, so that we can see the glory of God! Perhaps this prayer is for you today:

Heavenly Father, thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me but sometimes I need to remind myself that you are listening, that you love me and have not abandoned me. God, when I feel like darkness is closing in around me and my heart is breaking, please give me sight! Light of the World, wrap your arms around me so that I can see YOU in the midst of all that is happening around me. Show me your glory! Please do something so miraculous that it can only be explained as you and your power and to your glory! Help me to believe, give me the MIRACLE OF SIGHT today. Then fill me with your light, so that I can be radiant for you today. Amen.

“No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts in under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” – Luke 11:33-36