“Why me, Lord?” In my social interactions with “non-Christians,” one of the things I’ve noticed to their credit is that they aren’t as much the “why me” types when life’s “stuff”happens. And they certainly don’t blame God because He’s not even on their radar. Quite often they are more accepting of misfortune than believers are. They aren’t as concerned or perplexed as to why seemingly “bad” things happen to them. Like you and me, they experience tragedy, sickness, job losses, deaths, disappointments, relational issues . . . all types of suffering and challenges. So why do Christians struggle so much in their reaction to hardship and misfortune?
For some non-Christians, their explanation is karma. (After all, this is Asheville). For others, they acknowledge the fact that as the bumper sticker proclaims, “stuff” happens and they are often more understanding and accepting of life’s challenges than believers are. If anyone ought to know better about the “whys” of the “woes” of the world, people of the cross should. Yet we too often are the ones who ask “Why me, Lord?”
Let’s face it, life is not a rose garden and God never promised us one. It’s an adventure, to be sure, but since the introduction of sin by Adam and Eve recorded in Genesis 3, all of the earth has been cursed with the presence of death, sickness, disease, corruption and all expressions of evil (including rebellion vs. God). This was the origin of all things “bad”which are now present in God’s “good” creation, and everyone and everything is impacted by this fallout. We know where to point the finger . . . at least to the origin, but even they shifted the blame and pointed their fingers all the way back towards God. From the garden, God’s world and desire was turned upside down and it will remain so until Christ returns.
The ultimate expressions of hate, humiliation, injustice, suffering and death were endured by a perfect, holy and innocent Christ. Jesus sympathizes with us in our sufferings, and He has pledged to walk through them with us. Peter cautioned followers in 1 Ptr. 4:12 “don’t be surprised at the painful trials you are suffering.” He says in v.16 “If you suffer as a Christian, don’t be ashamed.” In 1:6 Peter says “for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” James 1: 2 says to “consider it pure joy when you face trials.” Paul, in Romans 5:3 says, “We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character, and character, hope.” Suffering. Surprise?
While non-Christians may never suffer persecution and trials for upholding the gospel and professing their faith, we, as Christ followers must add that possibility to the list of suffering which includes illness, disease and death. For the most part, compared to other countries where the gospel is present, our “suffering” for the gospel is not worth mentioning. We can endure rejection and insults. Few of us will face death or physical harm . . . at least not yet.
The gospel had clearly forewarned us that one making a journey in faith is not simply on life’s most adventurous road, but also on a often perilous one. Forewarned is forearmed. We have the opportunity to bring God praise and notice through how we face our struggles as his strength is demonstrated through our weakness. So, perhaps the question is,“Why not me?” Because of the resources of Christ within me, will the world around me see a difference in how I respond to the hardships and suffering ahead of me? Will they see faith? Trust? Confidence? Even peace? On the flip side, as persons on the receiving end of God’s mercy, love, compassion and companionship, we might again ask, “why me, Lord?“ Think About It.