Do you ever think that God is out to get you, that He is just waiting for you to mess up? Sometimes, I meet Christians who view their lives through the “Why me?” lens. The question I have is this: ” Why not you? ” I say this because life has it’s share of suffering for all of us. The difference is in how we respond and that difference depends on what we believe.
My dear friend has lung cancer. Every time I read her Caring Bridge entry I am aware that her worldview is cup half full not half empty. Her worldview is based on her relationship with Jesus. She has suffered quite a bit, but her hope is in Him and her future with Him. In the meantime, on this side of heaven, she wants to be sure that others are going with her so she talks about Jesus and how her love for Him changes everything. She is like the pied piper who plays her flute declaring the goodness of God. Believe me: people are lining up to follow her. It’s not wishful thinking or false hope. Her hope is based on Jesus’ words:
I am the way and the truth; The way to the father is through me. (John 14:6, paraphrased)
Back to the question of “Why me?” There are seasons in each of our lives where we wonder if we have a sticker on our forehead that says: marked for trouble, or marked for suffering.. or anxiety, or stress. We all have our days, weeks, sometimes months or longer when we feel that life has dealt us a bad hand.
My daughter, years ago, wore me out. She stretched my sense of sanity and well being until one day God spoke to my heart. I sensed him telling me that I had been praying the why me prayer and He was growing in me the why not prayer.
Why should I escape trials?
Why should I escape suffering while on this side of heaven?
Why should I think that life will be perfect or should be perfect?
As I sorted through this the Lord began to teach me a few things.
- As long as I was asking the why me question there was no room for grasping His comfort.
- As long as self-pity reigned in my heart, there was no room for His truth to grow that He never abandons or forsakes,
- As long as I was living with my eyes down cast I could not see what He was doing in the midst of the trial
- As long as I was a victim, I lost my sense of being a child of God.
There is something powerful about moving from a state of being self centered to being centered entirely on God that changes everything. His power rises up from within. The Apostle Paul put it this way:
Your power is perfected in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9, paraphrased)
Friends, it’s easy to get trapped in the cycle of fear, anxiety, anger, and victimization, but God has this. He went so far as to send the best thing He had– His very own Son, to carry our sorrow and pain. He made a way when there seemed to be no way out. That is the Gospel. That is the good news answer for the “Why me? ” question.