“Why me?” It’s a question that all of us ask, and not without reason. Sometimes we’re may be whining about something trivial like our looks (why am I “the fattest one”, “the shortest one”, “the tallest one”, “the ___ (fill in the blank) one”), or it could be something really serious that’s going on in your life, and you can’t help but wonder, “Why me?”
Well, guess what? God cares! No matter what it is, from the smallest to the biggest problem, he wants to help you through what’s going on. Still, we could still wonder “Why did God give me such a big nose?” or “Why did my grandpa die?” These are just examples, but whether it’s one extreme or the other or somewhere between, the big question (besides “Why me?”) is, “Why did you let this bad stuff happen, God?”
It’s confusing, isn’t it? God is supposed to be everything good, holy, perfect…the list of good things go on and on! And He is! He is good, holy, perfect…but that makes you even more confused, doesn’t it? How can a good God let such bad stuff happen? He’s in control of everything, right? (Yes, he is!).
The answer is simple, but a little confusing. Here it is: God let’s bad stuff happen because in the end, it will have a good outcome, whether it’s visible to us or not.
Let’s look at a real example from the Bible about someone who had every (literally!) right to ask, “Why me, God?” In Job 1:1-5, you find out a little bit about the main character, Job. Let’s begin the story, shall we? (the text below is not directly from a translation–it is in my own words)
“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very (it must be very many, in order to take care of all that livestock!) many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
“His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, ‘Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually.”
So, you can tell that Job was a pretty cool guy. He was rich (I know it didn’t mention money, but in those days, wealth was counted by how much livestock you had, and Job had a lot!) and had a lot of kids. More importantly, he was a righteous man–he was God’s kind of guy!
This is displayed in what occurs in Job 1:6-12 (dialogue is from NIV) . Satan goes to see God in heaven (we assume this is before he was cast down to earth). God asks him what he’s been up to, and Satan replies that he has been “roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” God take this opportunity to do a little “bragging” on Job. He says “there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil”.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Satan says, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now andtouch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” Now, this is a direct challenge from Satan. He’s saying that if God takes away all of Job’s possessions, Job will change his good guy attitude and curse God.
God takes this in stride, of course, because since He knows everything, He knew this was coming! He takes up the challenge and allows Satan to reach out and take Job’s possessions, but warns him not to touch Job himself.
In Job 1:13-19, we see what Satan decides to do. First, the Sabeans attack and took his oxen and donkeys, and killed all his servants but one, who escaped to tell Job what happened. Then, another servant comes and tells Job that fire from God (though we know better, don’t we?!) came down and consumed the sheep and the servants, except for him. Third, a servant reports that the Chaldeans came and took the camels and killed all the servants but him. And last of all, a servant comes to tell Job that his children were feasting in the eldest brother’s house, and that a wind came and struck the four corners of the house, causing it to collapse on them.
So what does Job do? Did Satan win the bet? Does he curse God? Job 1:20-22 (NIV) has the answer:
“Then Job arose andtore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.
‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.’
“Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”
So Job aced the test! He showed that Satan couldn’t force him to desert the one true God. But it’s not over yet! In part 2, Satan is back, and presents another test to God for Job to face! Will God accept? And this time, will Job continue to trust God, or will Satan win?
Come back tomorrow to find out, and also find out what to do in those “Why me?” situations.
Do Not Worry