As Jesus went along, he saw a man who was blind. He had been blind since he was born. 2 Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned? Was this man born blind because he sinned? Or did his parents sin?”
3 “It isn’t because this man sinned,” said Jesus. “It isn’t because his parents sinned. He was born blind so that God’s power could be shown by what’s going to happen.
John 9:1-3 (New International Reader’s Version)
I touched on this subject very briefly in my last post, “Gone…for Good.” However, there are times where things need to be expanded for our growth and enlightenment.
The above Scripture passage is a familiar one from John’s Gospel, however these opening lines bear scrutiny. When Jesus and company encountered our visually-challenged friend, the disciples ask was it his fault* or his folk’s fault that he wound up born that way. The disciples demonstrate our human nature to point out one’s deficiencies as through some fault of their own: “They asked for it” as we’re wont to say. However, Jesus flips their logic on its head by saying that the man’s being born blind was to serve a higher purpose: people could see God’s power in action (through Christ) in his upcoming healing.
The same could be said for whatever “deficiency” you may have. You may not be the smartest in your family; wall papered with degrees and straight-A’s. You may not be the wealthiest cat in your social circles. You may be awkward in romance to the dismay of your partner. You may not even be with your church’s “in crowd” headed by your pastor. People will look at you and link that deficiency with you to the point it becomes your identifying quality. This has caused people a lot of grief, heartache, and wounded lives.
However, if we go back to Jesus’s response above we can see who it applies to your “deficiency.” If we look at the bigger picture, to God your “deficiency” is in really a “necessity” so He/She can manifest His/Her power through you. You may not be the smartest in your family, however you’re the one God uses to offer rational and workable solutions to family crises. You may not be he wealthiest cat in your social circles, however God uses you to bless others-and be blessed-while your “wealthy” pals are stagnant in their wealth. You may be awkward in romance-even in the sack, however God uses you to be there for your partner when trouble comes in their life and be that loving and nurturing agent. You may not be in with your pastor and his/her “in crowd,” however God uses you to be a blessing for those who crave real intimacy with Him/Her by how you live. Ultimately, the people who point out your “deficiency” will find it’s a necessity in their lives that God worked through you.
However, be prepared for those in your life that just won’t get it. In the above Scripture, we would later see that Jesus healed the blind man. Later in the story the Pharisees cornered the man and tried to discredit Jesus’s role in his healing (it was also on the Sabbath). Despite the man’s trying to get it into the Pharisees’ thick skulls that Jesus did the healing, the Pharisees expelled the man from the Temple (a painful thing in Jewish culture, however a blessing for the man). Today, there will be those in your life who will not get God’s using your “deficiency” as a necessity; they’ll think it’s impossible. They will think that you can’t be used by God and that you’re still deficient. Eventually, you may find yourself “expelled” from their lives, which will be a blessing for you in the end since God will still show His/Her power in your life.
So take heart. What people see as your “deficiency” can be God’s necessity in your life that He/She can use. Be blessed!
*From what I recall in extra-biblical sources, in Jesus’s time people believed in reincarnation. The disciples thought the man had sinned in some past life and was being punished in his present life with blindness from birth.
(Image: Community garden in Plainfield, NJ. 2017. The lot may be a neighborhood “deficiency,” however it becomes a necessity.)