Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Why me? is the first question we ask when tragedy strikes. For some of us, the same question pops up when we have a flat tire. Or get a cold. Or get caught in a freak rain shower. Somewhere along the way, we have become convinced that life should be all good, all the time.
If you are a Christian, you may believe God should protect you from every hardship, large and small. God is good, so life should be fair. But life isn’t fair. You learn that lesson early from the schoolyard bully or a group that leaves you out. Just about the time you forget, you’re reminded with another painful lesson that hurts as much as it did when you were 10-years-old.
Arthur Ashe, the legendary American tennis player who once held the number one ranking and won several tournaments including Wimbledon, was dying of AIDS which he got due to infected blood he received during a heart surgery in 1983. From all over the world, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: “Why does God have to choose you for such a bad disease?”
To this Arthur Ashe replied:
The world over 50 million children start playing tennis, 5 million learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5,000 reach the grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to semifinal, 2 to the finals. When I was holding the trophy I never asked God, Why me? So today in pain, I should not be asking God, Why me?
I thought this was a wonderful answer. In the Bible Job 5:7 says, “People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire” (New Living Translation). Job experienced horrendous problems in his life, and yet he was able to say: “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.” (Job 13:15)
Then Job 42:1-6 (ESV) says:
Then Job answered the Lord and said:
“I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me,which I did not know.
‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you make it known to me.’
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
Why Me, God? – A Common Question
I’m sure you are asking, Why me, God? because something has happened that caused you to feel somehow singled out. Perhaps you feel that God must be punishing you for some reason. Why else would this be happening to you? Be assured. You are not alone. God has not abandoned you and he has not singled you out, no matter how you feel right now. Whatever you are going through, God’s promise is that he will see you through and give you the strength and direction you need.
God wants you to know that he understands how you feel; that he knows more about your situation than you do, and that he saw it coming before you did. Above all, he began to work on his resolution for you before you even knew to ask! The reality here is that God is for you. He is not against you.
Our feelings of Why me, God? are real. They are based on real events, but our conclusions may not be accurate. While we don’t want to minimise the pain you feel in any way, we do want to try and look more closely at why you feel singled out and whether or not you’ve arrived at a valid conclusion.
We absorb our beliefs from our parents, teachers, life experiences, books, etc. Some of what we have come to believe may sound right, but in reality our views might be too narrowly defined or inaccurate. We have bought into many ideas and concepts that distort our right thinking and actually work against us. For example, we have learned untruths that cause us to live the role of the victim, either of circumstances or of our past. These erred beliefs cause us to cry out in pain, Why me, Lord?
(To be continued in Why Me? – Part 2)