Like many people, I’ve had my fair share of questions. Such as, “Why was I born into my particular family?” “Why didn’t I get a better lot in life?” “What did I do to deserve the parents I was given?”
Or maybe, “Why couldn’t I have parents like so and so has?”
I remember as a kid wishing my good friend Bob’s mother was my mom (usually immediately following an argument with my parents).
Right or wrong, it was a wish. (Though I’m not at all saying I was squeaky clean…)
There have been other times throughout the last 60+ years I’ve asked similar questions.
But I’ve recently learned something. Maybe it will speak to you as well.
God had the complete and final say regarding all the things in which I had no say.
Even though bad things sometimes happen, things which aren’t His will, we’re placed into our specific families.
God, Who knew me even while I was in my mother’s womb, had the final say.
It was God who gave me, and you, life in the first place.
So, with that in mind, I’ve had to move on and not let those “why”, “why not”, and “what if” questions drive me crazy.
In John chapter nine, the disciples asked Jesus a question about a man who was born blind. I can almost imagine the blind man pulling Peter aside to see if Peter would ask Jesus the question he had been wondering about for quite awhile.
“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins.” (John 9:1 – 9:2 NLT)
Somewhat like the questions I’ve had throughout my life…”Why?”
To read Jesus’ answer (in many translations) it can appear that God doesn’t mind seeing just how bad He can make someone’s life become.
That doesn’t sound like the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
It doesn’t sound like my Savior, either.
So this time, read it from “The Message” translation:
“Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?” Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.” (John 9:1 – 9:3 MSG)
“You’re asking the wrong question…” What a great response!
For them, and for me.
And, quite possibly, for you.
The Lord doesn’t want any of us attempting to find out why we got the short end of the deal when we were born. He’s not exactly pleased with the way some parents have treated/raised their kids. He’s not happy about the child abuse some kids endure. Or how many people have to find a way to cope with all the scars well into their adult life.
We’ve all been given a life to live. And we can’t live it to the fullest when we’ve buried ourselves beneath the rubble of “Why me?” questions.
Blaming someone never corrected anything. No matter who is to blame, we must still look at what God can do.
“With Me, all things are possible.”
Maybe you’ve accumulated a lot of baggage, maybe tons of garbage, growing up in your not-so-perfect world. I did. But my life need not, better not, be consumed by looking for someone to blame.
There’s too much life to live to waste time doing that.
So, to end this post on a positive note:
God uses less-than-perfect people from less-than-perfect homes, who have less-than-perfect parents, siblings, and circumstances. Why not let Him help give us purpose, direction, and, where needed, the emotional, mental, and physical help we may have missed while growing up.
Let’s get away from the blame game, and instead, get on with life; the life God has in store for all who will embrace His ways and thoughts.
“Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. ‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'” (Isaiah 55:7 – 55:9 NLT)