The Works of God in Us

Today’s Readings: 2 Chronicles 21, Revelation 9, Zechariah 5, John 9

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:1-5

Would you believe that today is the first time I’ve actually read this story? Of course I knew the story of the blind man as a child but for some reason, I’ve never looked up John 9 and read it for myself. It’s just awesome isn’t it? Well, happy Monday folks. It’s Christmas week, you’ve officially made it. While the rest of the world is winding down, I feel as if God has saved this particular Christmas for some “new birth” in my life (no, no I’m not having a baby). What I thought would be a slow deceleration into a time of pj’s and movies has actually turned into a frenetic frenzied mountain to climb. What’s clear is that God has plan for me that I cannot see. Believing in what cannot be seen or heard; very foundation of faith. Do you ever struggle with this? I’m not too proud to admit that I really do. Believing that God has a plan requires a certain amount of surrender and implicit trust.

Today, I want to write to you about verses 2 and 3 of John 9. Maybe this message is too simple for some but I’ll take the risk for those that really need it this Christmas. The first time our son became really truly ill, he was 6 weeks old. The trauma to our family was deep and still comes to the surface now and again. I spent lots of time ruminating on what I could have done wrong, where was the misstep that led to this terrible punishment? I was reeling with sadness, guilt and pain. Now I know that those days were my “blind woman” time. With great counsel, tenderness and love from other Christian’s I grew to understand that God was showing his grace through us. Faith in God doesn’t result in a life without hardship. It does however give us the opportunity to experience His grace and majesty in the moments we least expect Him.

At the end of this passage Jesus says, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” At first this saddened me a bit. We are, after all, in a world without the actual Jesus. But with careful thought, I realize that He is in our world today. He is embodied in my friends, my family, my patients that bravely shine his light. He is with us each and every day. When we are willing to allow God to work in us in those times that we are most broken, we experience Christ’s light. As this year of Bible Journal comes to a close I pray that each of you have been illuminated by His word. I pray that one or two posts touched your heart and brought you closer to your Lord and Savior. When you feel that the night is coming, remember that God is working in you, so that you may be strengthened and shine his light.

Merry Christmas from the McGriff Party of 5.

Thank you for reading and praying with me this year!