Years ago, a prominent rabbi wrote the bestseller, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, attempting to answer the riddle of why seemingly good people, minding their own business, suddenly face misfortune and tragedy. When such things occur, the almost universal question is, “Why me?”
Perhaps a better question should be, “Why not me?” Because if we’re honest, we’ll admit we’re no more or less worthy or deserving than other people of having good or bad happen to us.
I was reminded of this by a friend who has been struggling with cancer for several years. In an update to people praying for her, she wrote, “I have had people say to me, ‘Why you?’ And my response is, ‘Why not me?’ People all over the globe have cancer. I don’t expect God to spare me from having cancer.”
A courageous attitude? No doubt, but one all genuine followers of Christ should embrace. Being members of God’s family does not exempt us from hardships and adversity. After all, Jesus declared, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The apostle Paul, commenting on his own struggles, said God’s response was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Looking back over the course of my spiritual journey, I find many of my greatest lessons have come during times when “bad stuff” was happening. In the midst of the pain, God was teaching. Most of all, He was showing me that I can trust Him no matter what.
That’s what my friend Karen meant when she wrote, “The vital truth – the sustaining truth – is I can count on Him to love, strengthen and care for me this day and every day that follows.”