Most of us have probably said this, at least in our heads, if not aloud. For some of us, this phrase may be well-used! Life rarely plays out the way we want it to and, at personal crisis moments, the words why me? find their way across our lips, minds, and hearts. Consider the following story.
Having just escaped an angry mob on the temple grounds, Jesus, and those following him, walked by a beggar who had been born blind. One of his followers asked what everyone else was thinking, “Master, was it this man’s sin or the sin of his parents that caused God to judge him with blindness?” Jesus’ response stopped them in their tracks. “Neither,” he said, “This man is blind so that God might be glorified in him, not because God is judging him.”
Jesus spit on the ground, mixed it with some dirt, and put the mixture on the man’s eyes. “Go and wash this off in the Siloam pool,” Jesus told the man. He did so, and went home being able to see for the first time.
Why did Jesus’ followers think that the man’s blindness was a result of sin? The understanding of many Old Testament passages promising God’s blessing for those who pleased him and judgment for those who sinned against him was that people who suffered were being punished by God. Jesus reset their thinking by bringing glory to God in healing the man.
We still tend to think this way today. We believe that if we are doing our best to obey God, he will bless us, protect us, and shield us from suffering. When things don’t go our way, those words easily to come up in our minds. Why me?
Maybe Jesus’ needs to reset our thinking as well.
Join us in renewing our minds when it comes to suffering and hardship. We don’t need to minimize the difficulty. Hard things are hard. Suffering hurts. We should be supportive of each other in and through it all. Instead of wallowing in the why me? lament, let’s see these things as a canvas upon which God’s glory may be painted.
Glorify yourself in us, O God. Glorify yourself in us!