A few years ago I was riding on the back of an all-terrain vehicle on snowy and hilly terrain. My son was driving, and he was not very experienced, especially in icy and snowy conditions. A much more experienced friend was riding on another vehicle. To the left of the trail we were on was a steep downhill. The path got bumpy, and our vehicle started sliding, sending us down the hill uncontrollably. We hit a tree and were thrown off.
My leg got caught under the vehicle, and we immediately started praying. I was able to get out from under the vehicle but was in a lot of pain, and I could not walk without feeling as though I was going to faint. Our friend was able to make it down to us in a different vehicle and took us back to our lodging. My son had also been hurt in the fall, and he blamed himself for hurting me. I blamed our friend for suggesting this ride in these conditions.
It is easy to blame ourselves or others when things go wrong. But Jesus removed all blame when his disciples asked him about a blind man. They asked, “Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus replied, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him,” and then proceeded to heal the blind man, leaving no room for blame (see John 9:1–7). And Paul went to a young man, Eutychus, who was apparently dead after he had fallen from a third-story window because he had gone to sleep while Paul was preaching. Paul didn’t blame himself for preaching a long time, the young man for falling asleep, or his friends for not watching out for him; instead, Paul healed the young man (see Acts 20:7–12).
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