As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was.
Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.
11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said. 
Why do bad things happen? Why do bad things happen to people who don’t seem to deserve it? Why do they happen to me? Do I really deserve it? Have I irritated or offended God?
This is what the disciples were asking Jesus about regarding this man who was born blind. In their world, misfortune and suffering were indicators of sin. So the first explanations that came to their minds were either that the man had sinned or his parents. But Jesus turns them away from assigning blame and instead depicts the man’s blindness as a place where God’s works might be displayed.
Do I look at the misfortunes, setback, and tragedies in my life this way? Do I get stuck on assigning blame, or can I move with Jesus to seeing them as place where God’s works might be displayed?
That’s a big call to faith, and is some situations it is admittedly very difficult. But this is where Jesus directs the disciples and us. The simple fact is that trying to discern the cause of suffering is usually a fruitless endeavor. Unless the suffering has come as an obvious and direct result of someone’s bad actions, we just are not going to be able to come up with an answer. It may be the result of living in a broken world. It may be a result of spiritual evil and spiritual warfare. We just don’t know. But regardless, whatever the cause, it will be an opportunity for the works of God to be displayed in our lives as we live and act in faith. Not that we’re looking for Jesus to step in with a miracle as dramatic as in this account. But He will step in, sometimes dramatically, when we give Him room to work and seek to follow Him in the middle of what’s going on.
So my prayer today is for faith, to trust God in the hard times, and look for God’s works to be displayed. I’m also praying today especially for those whom I know are going through such hard times right now.
 The New International Version. 2011 (Jn 9:1–12). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.