I have been suffering from a severe case of self-pity. I have a cold that has turned into a sinus infection leaving me cranky, and exhausted. All around my house are piles of stuff; unfolded laundry, home schooling supplies, library books, and in box overflowing with papers. I have neither the energy or the motivation to deal with them yet the sight of this disorder drives me to distraction.
This morning I went to the bible study with an uncomfortable feeling that I did not adequately prepare the lesson. The conversation was revolving the memory verse of the week, John 9:3 ,
"It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him."
It was then when one of the Moms shared a story. The night before she had been in a hospital waiting room with friends who had to make the heartbreaking decision to take their four month old son off a respirator. My friend, with tears in her eyes, spoke how this baby with a rare lung ailment was perfect in the eyes of God. God was calling him home. This child like the blind man had not sinned, but suffered so the works of God might be manifest in him. The faith in God this family had to endure this suffering made me pause and think of my own situation.
As I listened to the voices of my healthy children playing in the background, I was struck how much I mirrored the Pharisees who criticized Jesus for curing the blind man on the Sabbath. They, like me, were too busy focusing on the details, and were missing the miracle. How blind I have been this week, not see the abundance in my own life.
Chapter 9 in John's gospel ends, but Jesus' discourse with Jewish authorities does not. Jesus continues in Chapter 10 to challenge the Pharisees with the image of the Good Shepherd:
"I came so they might have life more abundantly. I am the good shepherd."
Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my wants,
beyond my fears,
from death into life.