It’s the same question asked time and time again: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This question is often called “The Problem of Evil.” It’s one thing when you get sick with a cold or you break a bone. But how do you make sense of the suffering that happens in the world?
People forget, because of how the world perceive Christianity, that there are many instances in the Bible where bad things happen to good people, most particularly seen in the Book of Job. When Job asks God why he is suffering when he has done nothing wrong, God doesn’t answer Job’s questions, but instead gives him a sense of perspective. Job’s story is just one part of a much bigger narrative.
The way that we see the world is limited. We can’t write off life as having no meaning based on the little that we see in our short lives. Like Tobit, we are also blind to the big picture. Tobit doesn’t believe his wife when she says that she got a goat as a bonus gift on top of her usual wages for work and Anna retaliates by snarking at Tobit for what seems to be his punishment from God. “Where are your charitable deeds now?” she asks. Meanwhile, Sarah also deals with having a horrible reputation of killing her husbands on her wedding night when it was really the fault of a demon named Asmodeus.
Even though Tobit is literally blind, all the characters in today’s passage are acting blind in some way. Tobit let his blindness turn him paranoid and Anna is too focused on making sure that she can provide for her family that she has no compassion for her afflicted husband. Sarah’s maid is blindly accusing Sarah of something that she didn’t do and we can assume, based on how often we’ve loved and lost before, that Sarah is probably blinded by her grief at having lost the chance to live a happy life with a good husband seven times.
How often do we get so blinded by our own problems or our busy lives or our failed relationships that we forget God or forget to be compassionate towards others or forget to have hope for the future? Why is it so much easier to blame God’s negligence and perceive him as being indifferent rather than try to break out of the tunnel vision of our anger and sadness and look at things from a different perspective?
It’s easy to give into the lie that our problems are too much for us to handle. It’s easy to think that the world is out to get us. It’s easy to believe that the universe is indifferent. But here’s the truth, sisters in Christ. God is not indifferent to our problems. We just need to change our perspective.
I used to think that I would be stuck in a rut, that I would never find work after college, and that I would always be a prisoner of my anxiety. I’m the kind of person who tends to let her emotions overwhelm her. But through my relationship with Christ, I have found the strength to get past the things that triggered my anxiety and the wisdom to stop myself before I let my emotions get the better of me. It’s not something that happened overnight or even something that I do on a regular basis. It’s all part of a learning process.
The same applies to dealing with our daily frustrations and problems. We can’t sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. We need to gain a better perspective and find a way to look past our problems and remember that God is always there with us. Today, I hope that you offer up your frustrations and things that you feel are blinding you.
STUDY QUESTIONS: What are some ways that you tend to blind yourself? Do you tend to make mountains out of molehills or act selfish when things don’t turn out the way you expected? How do you think God can help you with that? What are some ways that you are blind to others? How do you think you can improve on being more considerate?