Why not Me?

I did not write this post. My twin sister sent it to me and thought it could help you, who are angry at God and searching for truth.

 

‘Why not me?’
by John Fischer
boston flowersWe end this week where we started it – with those whose lives have been severely altered by the bombings at the Boston marathon. It’s one of the hardest questions anyone who experiences something catastrophic has to face: “Why me?”

Why did I get cancer?
Why did I lose my child?
Why did that drunk driver have to run into my car?
Why did the fire take my house and spare my neighbor’s?
Why didn’t my marriage work out?
Why did I have to lose my job?
Why did I travel all the way to Boston so I could stand right next to this bomb and lose my leg?
Why me? Why did this have to happen to me?

One of our Catch members addressed this with the following: “Before coming down with cancer 6 years ago I may have been less receptive to understanding how good can triumph over pain. I went through a period of asking ‘Why me?’ as I am sure many in the Boston tragedy have also. It wasn’t until I could say ‘Why not me?’ that God could use me to touch the lives of others and walk alongside them.”

“Why not me?” changes the whole perspective. To be sure it’s not the first reaction. One would have cause to question someone’s humanity if it was, but at some point along the way, “Why me?” can and will turn into “Why not me?” if and when one gets God’s perspective.

“Why not me?” says there is a privilege to pain. One of those privileges pointed out by James in the Bible is character, as in: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2-3).

Our reader points out still another privilege in pain: the ability to identify with someone else’s pain and come alongside them. I can try and comfort someone who has lost a leg, but that can go only so far as I stand there with my two legs doing just fine. Someone else who has gone through the same thing and has gained victory over it, is someone who has the right to come alongside and bring comfort and hope.

Coming alongside is what brings one out of self-pity into being able to reach out to someone else. Coming alongside is what it’s all about. Coming alongside is the way God uses us in the world.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Why me? … Why not me?

John Fischer
Fischtank.com

Sorting Out After the Flood

We had two floods in our basement last week. It usually doesn’t flood, but we usually don’t have that much rain, either. We stayed up one night until 3 in the morning, tossing things that we didn’t yet have in plastic totes or on shelves. (That is to say that our basement is a horrendous pit, and be glad you don’t have to see the before pic… or the after pic.)

I realized today that my heart is being healed. Praise God. Because after that last downer of a post I just didn’t know quite where I was heading. It took a little while, but I am surely on the upswing again.

As we cleaned out the basement and attacked the stack of boxes which, in 4 years, has not been unpacked, I came across something… Jamey’s baby blanket that I haven’t been able to find in 2 years. At first, I was struck, and then I just held it. I had to smell it just to check, but of course, after two years, it doesn’t smell like him. I heard Carl coming down the stairs, and I chucked the blanket into the bassinette. I sat there and didn’t turn around, but he’d seen me.

He hugged me from behind, and said something nice. I don’t remember what, or maybe I didn’t hear because I was crying. But my point is, that for so long after this loss, I felt alone and figured nobody’d know how I felt or how much I hated what happened.

— Let me insert here that I pray I can be encouraging in the face of others’ loss, and understanding, and sympathetic. I NEVER want to gripe about their problem so much that the person affected hates talking to me because I am no longer a place of rest for them.

We hugged for a few minutes and talked about God’s plans for Jamey and for us, and I realized that in the past two years, I have avoided the basement storage area like the plague, because of all the “Jamey Things”. We worked hard at it, and now there are just a couple of blankets, and some photos, and all the memories of his short time with us, etched on our hearts forever.

After that, I found a letter that Carl wrote to me about a month after we became engaged. It was so sweet and deep and filled with the love and tenderness he shows NOW that I appreciate so much. Back then, this letter would’ve been the exception rather than the rule. I don’t even know if I appreciated it back then. But today, it put everything into perspective. My husband and girls, my extended family, my work, things with Carl’s job, our living situation…. just everything.

I have to admit, coming from a 21-year-old it was very wise indeed.

And after the emotional letter, I opened a photo folder, to see my dear friend Renee, who passed away when we were 19. It’s startling that after nearly 21 years, the sweet smile, the precious eyes, the remembrance of her gentle soul… and then I was weeping again.

In all, we had a lovely day together. My house is still a pit. My girls and hubby and me will never be perfect. But I think the key is that we’re always trying to do better.