Thursday, September 17, 2015

Was It Me?

In the immediate aftermath of Micah's death, both Heather and I struggled with whether God was punishing us for our own past sins by taking Micah from us. The Lord used the words of our pastor to encourage us through, among many other words of scripture, the precious words of Jesus in John 9. When asked by his disciples why a certain man was born blind, Jesus responded, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him." But what does it mean that God's works will be displayed through the suffering of the blind man, and through Micah's (untimely) death? Does it have anything to do with us? This past year, I have been greatly humbled by physical suffering, as I have written about previously. Through that suffering, God has shown me the degree to which I have grown self-sufficient, self-indulgent and even self-aggrandizing. Praise God, he has intervened in my life so as to keep me from a path of destruction. Physical suffering changed my course to make me dependent on God. In this matter, I have been blessed to see that God's intervention is indeed an act of love. Hebrews 12:6 says, "The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." It is ultimately for God's glory that God will use life circumstances to make me into a more Christ-like follower of him. I am indeed one of the many reasons why the Lord took my son Micah--but it was not for past sins, but for future glory. Our past sins have been wiped clean by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. God is not requiring an additional blood sacrifice by taking your child or my son. But one of the ways that God demonstrates his own glory is through how He uses suffering to change the day-to-day lives of those who claim Him as Lord and Savior. If you trust in Jesus, you can be assured that God will use life circumstances to make you more like him. I pray that all of us would use sufferings, large and small, to recenter our lives on the glory of God and seek to understand the works He is accomplishing through our lives.

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