Those words left my lips once or twice, a lot of times. They were said in times I ran into hills that conquered me, despite my best efforts to climb them; possibly some of the same hills your bumps and bruises come from. But if my ears had been opened then, and if I had been more aware of anything more than the fun of exploring, I may have heard Him saying, “because I’m showing you what’s important and you’re not looking”. These days I am beginning to see. I do my best to stifle the breath in my lungs when “why me” tries to come out of me.
When I hear people groan, why me, it’s like tasting cool-aid for the first time, for the thousandth time, to me. I understand their pain, because I know what it’s like when it seems like everything should be going right because of the planning that went into what they’re doing. No one expects or wants the testing that comes before true success, in hindsight. We want what we want in the palm of our hands. Truth be told, we ask, why me, because we don’t see the hand of God in the details, forgetting that God loves the details. We don’t see him because he wasn’t included and we didn’t expect him to test our work. But, God tests those he loves because he wants them to succeed.
Why me, aren’t idle words. They’re words that express deep anguish. Words we fall back on when we feel pressed. The pain usually starts when we’re near rock bottom, or because we don’t realize how hard we’re fighting to wallow. Most times we are aware of where we are because we fought tooth and nail to get there. But paying attention to what’s ahead or what we’re being prepared for just wasn’t included in the planning. I can’t deny I fizzled because I wanted my own way. My plans went to shreds in times it seemed I should’ve been strong enough to carry the world on my shoulders, by human standards, but I crumbled. After the fall, even while shiny bits of new knowledge enticed me, I could see the reasons fabricating. Presented in snippets of gross failure, still, I pressed on after sighing.
The process of living in a world I don’t understand has taught me to pay close attention to the details, God loves the details. His plan for allowing me to explore, allowing me to tinker with my gifted talents in life’s flames, proved his plans are far better than my plans. That is what I saw in the details, which became a point of shame of every sigh. As I learn to focus properly instead of saying why me, I see the solution. When I focus on the problems and curveballs thrown at me by life, I lose sight of the details. Those details became missed opportunities and stumbling blocks. God loves those details. The details always bring my focus back to God. That is where I always fought to keep my focus till the next shiny point of interest enticed me. But God always brings the focus back to the important things.
It is a lot of work to keep focus with so much to distract us, but it is worth it, because of what we see if we’re willing to pay attention – life is false. Life uses deceptive intrigues and revelries to keep us distracted and unfocused. Distraction keeps our focus on the problems we face. With our focus on problems, problems become the only solutions we can see, which creates internal chaos. Our focus also becomes our choices. If we focus on problems then our choices will be problems. And we will continue saying why me. When we keep our focus on God, he offers a new choices and strength. The weight to problems become lighter and the problems become less, because God wastes no time rolling up his sleeves when we’re ready to listen. Suddenly the path to our choices becomes well lit. Emanuel has not failed anyone who puts their trust in him yet.
Trusting him is a better solution than continually asking, why me? But they are two words that can lead to clarity, if you can use an examiner’s eye rather than the eyes of someone in trouble. As an examiner it is important to step outside of the comfort of defending your need to be in control. Impartial examiners usually see the answers as they present themselves. Then we see the real reason for the fall. That can be where our seed takes root.
This is the Holy Spirit seeding your heart and your life for better things. When we stop asking why me and begin paying attention to the details, our ears, eyes, and hearts begin to open to the choices we’re supposed to make. And that is when we usually see that life gives so many reasons to ask why me, so that we don’t see real solutions. When I realized that, I asked for faith instead of something else to tinker with. Just faith. That changed my direction, perception, and choices. Gave me one more reason to thank God for never leaving me alone.
My why mes, have since changed to, what am I doing. That was about the time my faults began to crop front and center for me to address. What followed next was a series of spiritual band-aids while I learned to stop trying to fix, because in fixing, I focused on proving my innocence and how I was not at fault. It wasn’t until I broke I realized something important about why me; there is nothing about me worth defending. No reason to ask why me.
The realization hit like a ton of bricks. Looking back at me, that was the truth of why me. If God was willing to come to my defense, I would be thankful, but there is nothing about me worth defending. It was nearly the end of my attempts to prove to the world that I was worth having in it. I had been allowed to explore freely and test my talents, and I was supposed to go back to the work I had been given in my younger days. I had no defense. I didn’t belong to the world, to begin with. So all that was left to do was be quiet while those who were to laugh, laughed, and those who were to be disgusted, were disgusted. Nothing hidden, the Spirit laying everything bare, I remained silent and set to work on faith. In the silence of acceptance, I found the presence walking with me, standing still beside me, allowing me to walk with him and learn something new. Truth.
Why you? Don’t be confused or hurt by failures or still struggling. Pay close attention to what you’re about instead. Pay attention to the details, because in the details, God will explain why he was willing to atone and why you have to go through your refinement. In the details, you will see a Father, a God that so loved you that he gave up our elder, who was willing to die so we could live.
Me? I ask why him, because I see the tireless Father pleading for his own children to turn to him instead of following a wayward son into oblivion. Enduring disgrace and shame for the sake of those who would turn to him. And the painful truth of being lured away, our why me becomes another backhanded attack on Him, A father who endured for the sake of his name and his beloved children. The attacks are not about me, not about you; the battle is His, not ours. We are just being used as points made against our Father when we give in, and again when we ask why me, and yet God is still willing to fight for our attention.