Why me?” Have you ever asked that?
I have, and I don’t think it’s because any of us feel entitled. I think it is a natural response when things are piling up on us.
Why me? It’s a hard question. I’ve prayed plenty of prayers that started out with “Why?”
Several years ago, a young couple was in a car accident. The husband had a brain injury and was in a coma. His wife died on the scene.
The man eventually awoke to learn he was a widower with two preschool children. His statement was simple: “Why me?”
That’s a basic, primal question.
You may think about this story and think, “That’s not all that bad compared to what I’ve faced in my life.” Perhaps. It’s hard to be objective when you’re the one who’s hurting. We tend to judge our troubles on a scale when comparing ourselves to others.
Here’s the fact: In this life, you’re going to have challenges and pain. It comes with having a pulse.
I’d encourage you not to feel bad about asking, “Why me?” It doesn’t mean you’re weak or unspiritual. It just means you want answers.
Job 5:7 says, “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.”
And in Ecclesiastes 2:23, Scripture reads, “For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile.”
These are honest statements that could easily lead us to ask, “Why me?”
There is a companion thought, and this won’t win me any popularity contests, but, “Why not me?”
If problems and heartbreak are part of the human condition, then “Why not me?” is an equally valid question, even if it’s unpleasant to think about.
Whatever grief you’re facing, you aren’t unique. You aren’t singled out.
While that doesn’t necessarily bring comfort, I’m going to peel back a few more layers.
I’ve come to realize there is a natural progression for me, and maybe for all of us, if we’d just take time to evaluate things.
I’m about to go all scriptural on you because that’s all I have. It’s also all I need.
Check this out:
First Thessalonians 5:16–18 reads, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
There is an obvious truth in these verses. The command is not to be thankful for everything (for instance, how could you be thankful for the death of a child?), but rather to give thanks in everything. There is quite a difference.
It’s a matter of recognizing we gratefully acknowledge God’s hand in all circumstances. Circumstances change, but God does not.
The challenge is for us to remain aware of God’s goodness regardless of what seems to be on the surface.
I don’t have to tell you that’s not easy, especially when our emotions have gripped us and our feelings are all over the map.
Part of it is realizing there is a lot going on around us we’ll never be aware of.
That’s where the “Why me?” comes in.
Maybe part of it simply means we are to be open to God in all situations and recognize that not only is He aware of what we’re facing, but also that He already knows the outcome.
We can then ask “Why me?” but we also understand He’s under no obligation to answer. I’m guessing that has something to do with faith and free will.
Here’s the progression:
“Why not me?”
In that third “Why me?” there are some sweet promises.
Here’s a hypothetical:
Say a man loses his beloved wife. He asks, “Why me?”
Then he comes to realize people lose loved ones all the time. There is nothing unique in his loss, even as much as it hurts. He comes to be able to sincerely say, “Why not me?”
As time goes on, he realizes death is part of living. He is able to identify and empathize with others going through similar challenges. He’s able to touch lives he never could have touched otherwise.
The result? Now he can say, “Why me?” He realizes triumph has grown from tragedy, and he has a cause greater than himself.
Perhaps this is an idealized scenario. “I could never be so accepting of my loss,” you say.
I don’t have an answer for you. You know yourself and your heart.
My point is simply we do have much for which to be grateful.
Why me, indeed
I woke up this morning in a warm bed. Breakfast was simple and good. My car started. Lunch was good too. I have a job.
I could go on, and belabor the obvious, but we can all rightfully say “Why me? Why do I have so much, and why am I so blessed?”
It’s because you ain’t done here yet. Oh, be joyful.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Tony Martin and originally published by the Baptist Record.