Why Me, God?
The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” Genesis 25:22
Paranoia was a constant companion in my drug addiction. As I spent a lot of time worrying that others would discover my secret, I always felt like everyone was looking at me with suspicion. Somehow, they know. For years though, no one knew. My paranoia was simply another twisted facet of my self-centeredness. It’s all about me.
Even in recovery now, self-centeredness is still natural. If there’s ever a quiet unrest in the staff at work, I have a fleeting thought that it must be due to something I did. It’s all about me. In my worst moments of self-centeredness, I even imagine that God is out to get me. When I have one of those bad days, and I drop my clean work clothes in a puddle in the parking lot at the gym in the morning, I cry out – Why God? Why are doing this to me? This may be my ultimate self-centeredness – that I imagine that God orchestrated that puddle just to antagonize me. It’s all about me.
The clothes-in-the-puddle incident may be petty, but in our life trials, it’s normal to go to God, asking why. Why did I get cancer? Was this your doing? Are you punishing me?
Why me, God? This was the question asked by Rebekah in today’s passage. In the story, pregnant with twins, those boys wrestled inside of her. It must have been quite uncomfortable, driving Rebekah to ask God why this was happening to her. Perhaps she wondered if God was punishing her. God’s answer though was unexpected – Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided (Genesis 25:23). Though the future conflict directly affected her pregnancy, God’s plan greatly transcended Rebekah. This isn’t to say that God didn’t care about Rebekah or grow her faith through the trial. It’s just that God was working out a plan that was far beyond her gestational discomfort. You mean it’s not all about me?
When we experience trials, we can and should ask God why. We should also realize however, that we are not at the center of it all. God loves and cares for us, but it’s not all about us. God may reveal his purpose, but we must also realize that not everyone gets an answer. Job suffered through tremendous hardships but never got to see the cosmic purpose behind his calamity. He did, however, grow his faith through the misery. When we ask God why, we must also ask how he wants us to respond. Then, if we desire to grow through the trial, we must do whatever he asks.