Daily Lent Devotional #40 (4/17/2011)

Today’s Devotional Topic:   “The End of Blame”

Today’s Scripture:   John 9: 1-5

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

The Jewish people in Jesus’ time (much like other cultures in ancient and modern time) assumed that every blessing came from God as a reward for a well-lived life (or a well-lived life by your ancestors).  Consequently; any hardship, pain, or illness must be a result of some disobedience to God (by that person or a family member).

Jesus was trying to get his followers to understand a simple truth about life:  that sometimes it hurts and is unfair.  To be clear:  this is not how God had designed Creation to run, but mankind’s sin has stained everything.  Pain and death are on the loose, and they don’t always abide by neat ‘rules’.

I’ve come to treat any hardship in my life the same way.  I choose to not waste my time trying to identify the true source of the pain (God, Satan, fallen Creation, consequences from my choices, consequences from others’ choices, etc.).  Instead, I embrace the Scriptural truth that God ALWAYS has something to teach me through my pain.  God is a Salvager.  He loves to turn trash into treasure and He can do that for you too.  But, we must learn to spend less time playing the “Blame Game”. 🙂

In conclusion, here’s some thoughts from Henri Nouwen on this very timely topic.

We spend a lot of energy wondering who can be blamed for our own or other people’s tragedies…

But Jesus doesn’t allow us to solve our own or other people’s problems through blame. The challenge he poses is to discern in the midst of our darkness the light of God. In Jesus’ vision everything, even the greatest tragedy, can become an occasion in which God’s work can be revealed.

How radically new my life would be if I were willing to move beyond blaming to proclaiming the works of God….All human beings have their tragedies….We seldom have much control over them. But do we choose to live them as occasions to blame, or as occasions to see God at work?

Published in: on April 17, 2011 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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