August 7, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"One thing I do know I was blind but now I see." John. 9:25
As the disciples were walking with Jesus they encountered a blind man. "His disciples asked him, saying, Master, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind. Jesus answers them that his blindness was from neither, but had been ordained of God on purpose, that the works of God might be made manifest in him" (John 9:2-3).
The mystery of the afflictions that Christians often encounter will only be revealed in eternity. God often ordains these, that the works of God might be made manifest in us. Certainly we cannot question the providence of God. When the blind man was questioned he could only say, "One thing I do know, I was blind but now I see." The healing of his eyes led to the healing of his soul.
I have seen many who have been afflicted, who through their affliction God used as He could in no other way to glorify Himself. I think of two who were mightily used to be a great blessing and challenge to me.
One was a young teenage boy who was afflicted from birth. His body was twisted unmercifully. He was totally dependent upon someone else to care for him. He was known as Little Joe. Everybody that went to be a blessing to Little Joe came away far more blessed by his joyous, triumphant spirit in the Lord. It was always an incredible blessing to be with him and experience his undaunted faith and committed trust in the Lord. God did not heal him, but God certainly used him to be an untold blessing and challenge to everyone! His afflicted life was a "vessel of praise" to the glory of God. He was "more than a conqueror through Christ."
Another that comes to my mind is dear Aunt Peggy. She lived in a little cottage no larger than 20 x 20 feet, but it was like entering the "throne room of God." She had a severe stroke that left her body twisted similar to Little Joe, and her face was drawn to one side. Her husband had been in the ministry in which she was a vital part. He had died several years before I met her.
Her little cottage was immaculate. She was able to shuffle about with much effort and took care of herself and her "little mansion." Like others, I went to see her hoping to be an encouragement and blessing. How wrong I was! As I entered her home, her severely drawn face and twisted bent body was transformed unto an "angel of God!" Her face was radiant with the glory of her Lord, her life overflowed with the love of God and I sat in her presence completely lost in the "wonder of God's grace," being manifested so gloriously in the life of one so afflicted.
There was nothing but praise and adoration of her Lord. I was the one so greatly blessed, by one so devastatingly afflicted! God was using her daily to reflect His grace, mercy, and love to everyone. What a privilege was mine to have known these saints of God...chosen for a special ministry.
"AFFLICTED?" She nor Little Joe looked upon their lives as afflicted, but as uniquely "set apart by God" to be incredible testimonies to all. It was their joy "to be counted worthy to suffer affliction for His name's sake." As the blind man, they too, could say, "ONE THING I KNOW, I was blind...but now I see!" HOW GLORIOUS!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-08-07
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