Why is this happening to me?
This is a question I’ve heard voice so many times. Hey, it’s a question I’ve screamed out and demanded answers to!
You can all relate. When snowed under with health problems, drowning in grief, hit blind-sided by broken relationships, when our world is turned upside down by that loss of job or home, by the rebellion of our teens…even the most trusting among us will find themselves screaming forth the question: “Why God? Why is this happening to me???”
I am sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t know the answer to this question. Problem is, although sometimes we will learn the “why” to bad news, often that information is never revealed to us this side of Heaven! Our job is to trust God with the “why”!
Though I don’t have the answers, my cat shed a good deal of light on this question for me this morning, and I pray it will shed some light on your situations as well…
Roxy had jumped up on my lap; but as she stretched out on my knees, purring and licking my hand, my nose was registering something less than pleasant…
Roxy has a sensitive stomach, and any change in her food will give her diarrhea. Because she’s a long-haired cat…Well, I don’t think I need to be any more graphic…You are getting the picture…
Unfortunately, the only way to clean up this particular kind of mess is to snip it away from her backside. Please understand that I felt terrible, because I know how much she hates the scissors; but there was no other way. And to ensure that her very vocal objections would not result in any type of injury to us or to herself, I wrapped her in a towel and enlisted the help of my husband. The whole procedure took less than five minutes, but Roxy spent the next couple of hours sulking…
Of course it was all for Roxy’s [own] good. The whole procedure could have been far less of an ordeal if she would have simply sat still and let me snip away the mess; but she didn’t understand this. In fact, I doubt she even realized her backside was dirty, and she was completely oblivious to the fact that the foul odor was negatively affecting our relationship.
So where is the spiritual lesson I promised?
Just this: When we are going through the toughest of times, it literally feels like someone has put a sac over our heads and bound us up in a straightjacket. We don’t like it, and we are very vocal about our protest. Instead of hissing and yowling, our mouths scream forth the ultimate question: “Why, God! Why is this happening to me???”
But let’s look at it from God’s perspective. God sees what we don’t. He “smells” our ugly sin, and it isn’t exactly a “pleasing aroma” to His Heavenly nostrils. In fact, the Bible teaches that God cannot abide the presence of sin: “O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.” (Ps. 5:4 NLT). If we have accepted Jesus’ gift of Salvation, our sin is forgiven; but just like the foul odors from my cat’s rear end were keeping me from being able to have a relationship with her this morning, our sin keeps us from being close to God!
Am I making this up for the sake of my illustration?
Not at all Check out this verse in Isaiah: “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” (Is. 59:2 NLT).
Rather than abandon the relationship, God takes action. He sent His son. Then to everyone who accepts His gift of Salvation, He sends His Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin: “And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.” (John 16:8 NLT). Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t listen, and much like Roxy was oblivious to the fact that her backside was dirty, we often aren’t even aware of the sin hanging around in our lives.
Now I’m not saying God brings trials upon us; but He does know how to bring good out of bad situations: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT). He uses these trials to not only help us become aware of our sin, but also to heal us of that sin.
Here is an example of what I’m saying here: All my life I have had difficult letting God be in control. I wasn’t really aware of the problem, but six years ago, I walked the valley of breast cancer. Through it all, God walked with me, He held my hand, and He brought me ultimate healing; but in the meantime, He did something else. He made me aware of my control issues, He planted the desire in my heart to relinquish complete control to Him, and He provided me with the tools to continue to do so, even after cancer. God used the cancer walk to “clean up” so to speak, my control issues, so that we can now have a closer relationship.
Therefore, while we are screaming forth at the top of our lungs, “Why God? Why is this happening to me”, I might suggest that we are asking the wrong question. What if we were to change our cry a bit? What if it went something like this instead: “God, show me the ‘dirt’ You need to clean up in my life so that our relationship will be stronger!”
Remember: God works good out of bad situations. This truth stands firm,especially in the midst of our pain!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.