Sickness and Sin: Connecting the Dots

For some, tragedy occurs as a result of personal sin. They see someone in a disastrous situation and they immediately attribute it to some fault, sin, or disobedience to God in the person’s life. Sometimes they connect the dots with someone else close. In either case this usually this adds to their suffering.

In The God I Love: A Lifetime of Walking with Jesus, author and speaker Joni Earickson Tada describes how, at 17 as a result of a diving accident, she  broke her neck. As a result she became a quadriplegic. In that book, she also tells the story of her trip to a Kathryn Kuhlman rally in Washington, D.C., in hopes of receiving a healing.  Kuhlman went about the country holding services of healing in which many were touched by Jesus with physical healing.

After her return home, disappointed because she received no healing (no one in the wheelchair or walker-bound group received healing that night) a relative connected the dots. “You know why this happened to Joni, don’t you? The family doesn’t talk about it much but Uncle John was divorced.”

“My Dad?” Joni said, aghast when she heard. After all the young people in their church’s youth group paired off and married, the last “couple,” Joni’s dad and a young lady, married. Only later did they discover that they made the wrong decision. Joni says their union was not blessed with love. John later remarried and had a family of four girls, one of whom was Joni. The young lady never remarried, became a family friend whom the children called “Aunt,” and whom John also supported financially the rest of her life.

Joni’s relative connected the dots between Joni’s quadriplegia and her father’s divorce. The idea has a long history. Each of Job’s friends also find a way to connect the dots. Eliphaz’ personal revelation accuses Job of sin because of Job’s mortality; Bildad insinuates Job’s children  brought on their death themselves by their transgression; and Zophar simply states that Job deserves more than what he received, one way to hit people over the head with the grace of God.

Have you ever had someone “connect the dots” with you? How were you hurt?

About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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2 Responses to Sickness and Sin: Connecting the Dots

  1. Judy says:

    Growing up in a legalistic home, I know this mentality very well. It took me years to understand that I was not sexually abused at fiver years old because of my sin or badness.

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