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John 9:1-3 NIV
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
My Mom passed away 2 years ago in March and for many years we’d talk about God and Heaven on a surface level; never really getting into scripture or praying together, never really tried to learn about the God we talked about or the Heaven we heard about. I honestly believe she felt uncomfortable with it. Knowing that maybe what she believed would take her to Heaven, wasn’t really the ticket she thought it was. Admittedly, I felt uncomfortable with all of it.
I grew up never remembering my Mom crack open a Bible and hardly ever walk through the doors of a church, but she would say during our conversations about these things, “I’m a good person, so I’ll go to heaven”. Though uncomfortable with all of this and never understanding how entering the Kingdom of Heaven really worked, I knew in my heart the trick wasn’t to be a “good person”. Our view of a good person is so skewed in our culture.
However, my Mom was the cultural definition of a “good person”. She was a giver at heart. I remember many times where she would give large amounts of money to random strangers who appeared to be going through tough times. She worked as a manager of a gas station for many years. The store didn’t open until 5:00 in the morning, but she was up at 3:00 to be at the store no later than 4:00 to make sure she could meet the needs of the customers. Especially the early birds that showed up 10 to 5:00 to get their coffee. Would you get up at 3:00 in the morning for others you hardly even know and open the doors 10 minutes early? I find it hard enough to get up at 6:30 for my own family whom I love, let alone strangers at 3:00 in the morning.
Christmas time would roll around each year and each year I felt like someone had been placed at the same mall on the same day as my Mom so she could help them out. The majority of the gifts that she gave away was money and time. Two of the most confusingly, squandered valuables we’ve convinced ourselves this life has. We spend money on petty things we think we need at the time, but won’t give a hot meal to someone on the street who actually needs that to survive. We say we need more time in the day, “there just isn’t enough”, but we spend tens or hundreds of minutes a day looking at what everyone made or bought for a healthy breakfast through social media. #fitfam
We mourn for the good people who had bad things happen to them. My Mom struggled with health issues for many years, but she still put others first. In the last two years, I was able to witness her purchase and read her own Bible and devotionals. I saw a growth in her spirit while seeing a decay in her body. I could see her views change and her love grow in a way I never saw before and when she finally passed, I didn’t have to have that uncomfortable feeling anymore, because she wasn’t riding on a ticket to the next life just by being a “good person”.
In the passage, this man was made blind so that one day Jesus could show the works of God the Father. That's the simple way of explaining why bad things happen to “good people”. We go through struggles, whether they be physical, spiritual, mental or emotional, but in every struggle, in every obstacle, there is grace given to us by God in some way.
Bad things happen to people. Period. It's not only the good people that have bad things happen to them and it's not good things that only appear to happen to the bad people. How we get through the bad seasons, how we show off what God has done in our lives despite the challenges that have been set before us is what really makes us good people. There are bad things going on in your life and there is a way to show off the grace God has given you even through those bad things. Show others what God can do in your life, how he can change your heart and perspective in your bad seasons. You can be an inspiration, so be one.