November 6, Saturday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on February 2, 2014.  

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Figuring out Why Bad Things Happen in Life”

Job 1:21

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,and naked I will depart.[c]The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;may the name of the Lord be praised.

Debi Lane was 41-year-old when she went for a routine thyroid test at a hospital in Arizona.  But instead of a small dose of mildly radioactive iodine, the doctors unwittingly injected a mega dose of radiation normally given to thyroid cancer patients.  As a result, her chance of developing cancer increased more than four percent every year.  Petrified, this mother of four children said, “What about my children’s college?  It looks like I’m not going to be here for them.”

So, was she so bad that something like this was bound to happen?  One of Job’s comforters who said (4:8), “Those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it,” certainly would agree; so would Christ’s disciples.  One day, upon seeing a blind man, they asked Jesus, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (Jn. 9:2).   

Which side would Christ choose?  Neither.  Perhaps, he might first say to his men, Stop thinking like children but in your thinking be adults (1 Cor. 14:20), and then add, “The reason  good or bad things happen in life is complex; therefore, avoid a simplistic explanation that may make sense to you but will not help anyone, particularly the ones suffering.  

In truth, the Bible does not offer “one-size fits all” type of explanation.   Some sicknesses indeed are divinely permitted due to specific sins (James 5:16; Jn. 5:14).  Mothers who consume drugs or alcohol run the risk of affecting the health of their unborn.  When and if that happens, parental culpability cannot easily be dismissed.  But Christ’s response to his men wasn’t that: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (Jn. 9:3).  

Even so, they did sin, for all sin and that’s how death and sickness entered the world.  No one is born blind without the Fall, but here, the blindness wasn’t caused by any specific sin committed by him or his parents.  And God allows this as an occasion to demonstrate His power so that people are led to trust Him.  The story of Job also teaches that painful circumstances may be allowed to test our faith in order that we may become mature and complete (James 1:4).

There is one more:  It’s called “Life.”  Lane’s story reminds me of thousands of German children born with severe physical deformities in the 1950s because of the over the counter drug their mothers took to alleviate morning sickness.  What can we say to them?  

Everyone will die one day of something, whether body malfunction or accident.  So when we encounter friends and relatives inflicted with a serious illness, instead of praying only for their healing, why not also pray that they will long to be with Christ in heaven? (Phil 1:23)Cheer up!  God is good.

Prayer: Lord, remind me to always appreciate every moment of my life.  Always remind me that one day this life will come to its end and I will face eternity.  Thank you that you have led me to place my trust in you.  Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 13-14