Living in Florida, I recently engaged in a stressful dance with Hurricane Dorian.
For those who haven’t been following the vagaries of tropical weather, Dorian crossed the Atlantic as a tropical storm that grew into a Category 5 hurricane. With a peak wind speed of 183 mph, Dorian is one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record.
Those of us in Florida watched with trepidation as Dorian appeared to target our state’s east coast. We prepared for the worst and hoped for the best. And many of us prayed.
We prayed for Dorian to turn north before it made landfall in Florida. Not here, Lord!
Then we watched this monster storm engulf the Bahamas. It devastated the islands with punishing and merciless winds before continuing its deliberate journey toward us.
And we prayed some more. Lord, help those in the Bahamas. But please don’t let that happen to us. Not here, Lord. Not me, Lord.
Even as I prayed this, I found myself wondering, Why not me?
Have you ever asked, “Why me?” Or perhaps, “Why not me?”
- Why am I the one who received that prognosis?
- How come I didn’t get the last seat in that class I wanted to attend?
- Why didn’t I get the job?
- How come the hurricane hit my city?
- Why did someone else get what I should have received?
Where do we get the idea that bad things shouldn’t happen to us? Of course, no one wants to experience sorrow or suffering. But when these situations occur, we often seem to think God has somehow let us down. That He violated an unwritten agreement: I’ll believe in You and You will protect me from anything bad.
But the Bible never promised a life without sorrow and suffering. Actually, just the opposite. Jesus told His followers, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV).
Living in a broken, sin-sick world means we are guaranteed to have trouble. It’s not an if, it’s a when. And our heavenly Father doesn’t always stop the trouble from happening. But He does promise peace in the midst of difficulty.
Besides, how will the world understand the reality of the peace brought by the Prince of Peace if nothing negative ever happens to Christians?
So the next time we’re facing a difficult circumstance, let’s not ask “Why me?” Instead, ask “Why not me?” Then ask, “How can I live for Christ in this situation so that others will want the relationship with Him that I have?”
I still intend to pray hurricanes will steer away from me–and from others! And not just physical hurricanes, but all storms of life. Still, if—no, when—they do come, I also pray I’ll exhibit the peace and strength that comes from knowing who I am in Christ. That I will surrender to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to live out the reality of my identity as a child of God regardless of my situation. And that the way I live might be the salt which makes others thirsty for that same relationship.
Why not me?