When Tragedies Become Blessings


     Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.  And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is still day; the night is coming when no one can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the blind man’s eyes with the clay.  And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent).  So he went and washed, and came back seeing (John 9: 1–7.) 


    In the first century, many individuals believed that deformity and dysfunction were the result of some manner of personal sin.  The disciples therefore inquired concerning who’s sin had caused the man’s blindness (either his parents or the man himself?)  But Jesus revealed that the man’s deformity hadn’t arisen from sin, but rather, from God’s desire to display a miraculous feet of divine healing. The blind man was made whole again so that many others would honor and glorify God. In life, often the things that appear to be the most tragic, are actually orchestrated to bring God the greatest glory.  Although they can be, tragedy and adversity are not always punishments; in fact, they are often the greatest blessings we will ever know.

     In 2003 a 13 year old Christian girl named Bethany Hamilton was surfing when she was suddenly attacked by a 14 foot long tiger shark.  The shark severed her left arm just below the shoulder.  After nearly bleeding to death, she was rushed to the hospital.  Prior to the injury, Bethany had been one of the world’s top competitive junior surfers.  Despite her strong faith, she questioned why God would allow her to endure such a tragedy.  Still she became determined to surf again competitively.  Trusting in God, Bethany entered the water 3 weeks after the accident and began training.  She started with a long board; then moved to a smaller board; until she was eventually able to surf on a short board again. Because Bethany refused to quit she eventually placed in and won a number of the world’s top female surf competitions.  Her experience quickly became famous. She received thousands of letters and numerous awards; she’s appeared on ‘20/20, Good Morning America, and the Oprah Winfrey Show,’ to name a few.  Eventually she published a book chronicling her struggles and victories (which was made into a movie entitled “Soul Surfer.”)  Throughout her ordeal, Bethany remained an outspoken Christian.  She thanked Jesus Christ for her strength, her courage, and her triumph. What appeared to be a tragedy had become the greatest blessing she would ever know.  Yes, with two arms she would’ve likely won some surf competitions; perhaps she might have even made it onto the cover of a surf magazine.  But with God in her heart and one missing arm, she was able to reach the entire world for Christ.  She is now a symbol of faith and a living example of God’s power to take the broken and make them whole again.

     Is there anything in your life that you struggle with; something that seems tragic; a source of pain or suffering?  If you take another look you may find a wonderful blessing hidden within what appears to be a calamity.  Seek the Lord, and He will strengthen you and lift you up.  Lean on God, and let Him use you; He will take your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.  And when He transforms our lives, we must always remember to give Him the credit He so richly deserves.  If we utilize God’s power and face our fears, many will come to see ‘the glory of God,’ revealed in us.

  “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask that You transform our weaknesses into strengths.  May Your enduring power and wisdom give us victory over the obstacles we currently face.  Heal us Father, and fill us with Your courage, that by faith we may overcome our fears and shortcomings.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!      

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