On a starry California night many years ago, I sat high on a mountain looking over the city lights in the valley below. It was dazzling.But all I could say was “Why me? Why me, God?”
Normally my “Why me?"—like most people I knew—meant “Why is this happening to me?” “Why is my life so hard?” At that time it might refer to “Why did he break up with me?” or “Why did I lose that job?” Or “Why don’t I have any friends?” --questions I heard many of my friends ask.
This time was different. I was asking, “Why am I so privileged, so blessed?”
Why was I born in this country—in Texas even?
Why did I have good parents who provided well, a healthy family, a nice home, a good education… Why did I have friends and mentors who encouraged me.
And why did I get to know Jesus, to feel loved by my Father, to believe I have a future of purpose and meaning?
Why did I have a calling to serve God?
I am still asking this question.I’ve traveled the nation and the world. I’ve met people from every strata of life, every religious tradition, every educational level. There are many way beyond me and who should certainly be asking, “Why me? Why am I so privileged?”
But so, so many could easily ask, “Why me? Why is life so hard, so hurtful?”
I don’t have answers for that question. I have observed that often those with more ask the “Why me? Why is life so hard?” question more than those with less. Perhaps it has to do with expectations.
There is mystery in all this regarding God’s plans. Scripture tells us:
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” (Acts 17:26)
I don’t know what God’s eternal purposes are in where He placed me and where He placed you, but he does have purposes. I do know that each of us needs to give to others and receive from others:
“Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: ‘The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.’” (2 Corinthians 8:13-15)
Though the context here is finances, I think this view of God’s economy applies broadly—to resources, to opportunity, to attitudes, to learning, to family, to our walks with God.
Yes, each of us will surely ask “Why me?” at different times in our lives—as we see the grace of God extended in good circumstances and in those that don’t seem so good. In every case, what we have been gifted with—much or little--is to be offered to others, and every one of us needs what others give to us.
What about you? What causes you to say “Why me?”
C2013 Judy Douglass