From the Word
4 For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
Psalm 33:4–5, RSV
When a babe is born blind we see what a painful thing the lack of sight is, what a precious thing even one eye would be, and what a divine blessing a healthy, bright countenance is. The eye serves us our whole lifetime and without it one had rather be dead; and yet no one thanks God for it. The psalmist had pure eyes and could see far, that the whole world was full of the goodness and the lovingkindness of God. From whom does this goodness come? Have we deserved it? No, but it has pleased God to cast his gifts promiscuously into the world, which the unthankful receive almost as freely as the thankful. We are grieved when we are obliged to lose a few dollars, or to give them to the poor. How much of his goods does God daily cast into the world and no one thanks him for anything?
We may observe all God’s creatures and become convinced of his goodness in them. “He makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust.” He enlightens our eyes, but who acknowledges that it is God’s blessing? If some morning the sun should not rise, what distress and anxiety it would cause, but since it rises and shines daily at the appointed time, no one considers it a blessing. So it is with the rain from heaven, with the grain in the field and with all that God has created. They exist in such abundance and are daily bestowed upon us so plenteously that we fail to see them.
At times God permits some man to fall into anxiety, into pain and distress; he becomes blind, lame, dropsical. The disciples asked the Lord concerning the man blind from his birth, whether he or his parents had sinned. The Lord answered, “Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” God sees that the treasures of this world do not move us. In his grace he presents to us a blind person, so that, when we do not recognize his grace and kindness in our good fortune, we may at least do so in our misfortune.
Luther, Martin, and John Sander. Devotional Readings from Luther’s Works for Every Day of the Year. Augustana Book Concern, 1915, pp. 272–73.