One of the most common questions of mankind experiencing loss and grief is, “Why is this happening to me? Why does God allow so much suffering in the world? This is not the way I would do it, if I were God!” Life is hard. We think that suffering is more understandable as the result of human sin. Jesus’ disciples observed a man born blind. “And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind?’
“Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:2-3
When we are at the center of our universe, it is hard to believe there is anything more important than our comfort. “It’s all about me,” we think, even if we are embarrassed to voice it. But Jesus was teaching His disciples that something was more important than mere comfort and personal peace: that we sufferers can be assigned the honor of playing the earthly role of drawing the attention of the world to the power of God. Paul asked three times to be delivered by God from his chronic ailment, which God refused to do.
“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
As the frame of a painting draws attention to the skill of the artist, holding it for all to see, so our broken lives can draw the world’s attention to a great God, as they see our contentment in and dependence upon Him.