Click below to listen to this post about the “why me?” difficulties of life on the Candidly Kendra podcast:
Some difficulties are just that, a bump in the road, a misstep that takes you off track for a moment. But others are trials that strike at the very core of who you are. They feel like an attack on your identity, and on your worth, and they change you.
A break-up leaves you wondering, “Why doesn’t he think I’m good enough?”
A job rejection feels like a personal rejection: “You don’t have what it takes.”
A betrayal by a friend makes you ask yourself, “Why didn’t she care about me?”
Or, when it strikes even deeper, you may ask, “Why isn’t God here? Why isn’t he listening? Why is he letting this happen to me?”
Friends, when your heart breaks with pain, and rejection, cry out. Let your voice be heard by God.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people…
Have you ever cried out, “Why, God? Why me?” I have. I thought it was a cliche until a difficulty arose in my life that felt utterly unfair. I didn’t deserve this! And I cried out to God with tears and rage against this painful, broken world.
And then I was spent. I felt moderately better for having released those feelings. But my hurt was still there. My problems weren’t solved. And I sat with my snotty nose and blurry eyes and thought, “What now?”
Recently I finished the book Surviving Survival by Laurence Gonzales. I enjoy reading disaster stories. Somehow I take comfort in knowing that terrible things happen to undeserving people and still they survive. (My keen friend observed that I am exploring the topic of “resilience” as I face my own difficulties and unexpected change.)
The title, Surviving Survival, caught my attention immediately, as I suddenly realized that people’s stories of survival don’t end with their survival. What about the rest of their lives?
Yes, they survived, but did they ever again manage to thrive?
One survivor of the crash of United Airlines Flight 232 made this wise connection:
“I was running and realized I was the only person [who had escaped the burning plane] at that time, and…I realized that I was asking myself the wrong question. I was asking myself, Why me? …That was the big shift: What now?”
From Flight 232 by Laurence Gonzales
As I sat in the car on that difficult day after crying out to God, “Why me? Why did you let this happen to me?” I wiped my nose and took a breath..
What now, God? This has happened. It hurt. What now?
Now I Will Trust
There is only one thing. Trust.
There is no going back. There is no changing what happened. Fixing it isn’t the answer. Even justice doesn’t change what happened.
Because my God is good. He is the greatest good. He is the only True Good. (Luke 18:19) And he is My Good.
“We cannot rewrite history, though our hearts ache to do so. But we can open ourselves up to the God of the present, the God whose future is not limited by the past, the God who makes all things new.”
-Dr. Gregory Clapper, chaplain at the crash site of Flight 232, at the memorial service of Flight 232 one year after the crash
God With Us in Our Affliction
When David was broken by the pain of this world, he cried out to God, asking, “Why me?” and “Where are you, God?” as we saw in Psalm 22. But as he cried, God’s Spirit spoke to David, and gave him the assurance of his goodness and his presence.
And then David wrote the rest of the Psalm.
“He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
Psalm 22:24 NIV
Our God is enough.