PO Box 3425
July/August Issue 2012 - Volume 31 Number 4
was looking through some archived files and articles and noticed that
several of the file names began with the word “Why.” This one word is a
question that often tempts us to ponder the imponderable! Who, What, Where
and When are usually easier suspects to apprehend than the elusive Why.
files have been in the archive for a while so I decided to look at them.
There had to be some reason I had decided to archive these things when they
came across my desk…or across my computer screen as the case may be. I’m
not sure that we can always give a reason why things are the way they are,
but maybe after we grapple with the “whys and wherefores” for a season
we gain something just from the attempt to figure things out. In some way we
grow and mature in the process, even though the “why” still eludes us.
this issue we will explore some insights into the question, “Why Me,
God?” And there are also articles on “Why
Preachers Leave the Ministry” and “Why So Much Pain and Suffering?”
first, here are a few humorous why’s that came to me via an email a few
years ago. We may not know why we do these things, but, hopefully, we can
laugh at ourselves and get on with life anyway.
do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are
do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there
is not enough?
does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but
check when you say the paint is wet?
doesn't glue stick to the bottle?
do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?
doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a
revolver at him?
do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?
people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?
is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always
there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?
do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something
new to eat will have materialized?
do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner
, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the
vacuum one more chance?
is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?
do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?
we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart
then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right?"
Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt, you stupid
is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the
table you always manage to knock something else over?
come you never hear father-in-law jokes?
my FAVORITE......The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four
persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three
best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.
sure that we often wonder why God loves us. We know ourselves so well, that
it often seems impossible that God could love us…but He does. I don’t
have to understand why God loves me; I just need to accept His love and
respond in kind.
Me, God? - A Common Question
sure you are asking, "Why me, God?" because something has happened
that caused you to feel somehow singled out. Perhaps you feel that God must
be punishing you for some reason. Why else would this be happening to you?
Be assured. You are not alone. God has not abandoned you and He has not
singled you out, no matter how you feel right now. Whatever you are going
through, God's promise is that He will see you through and give you the
strength and direction you need. God wants you to know that He understands
how you feel, that He knows more about your situation than you do, and that
He saw it coming before you did. Above all, He began to work on His
resolution for you before you even knew to ask! The reality here is that God
is for you. He is not against you.
Me, God? - An Erred Belief System
feelings of "Why me, God?" are real. They are based on real
events, but our conclusions may not be accurate. While we don't want to
minimize the pain you feel in any way, we do want to try to help you look
more closely at why you feel singled out and whether or not you've arrived
at a valid conclusion. The answers to why we conclude anything, even why we
question God's intent or purpose in any event, can be found in our highly
individualized network of beliefs.
absorb our beliefs from our parents, teachers, life experiences, books, etc.
Some of what we have come to believe may sound right, but in reality our
views might be too narrowly defined or inaccurate. We have bought into many
ideas and concepts that distort our right thinking and actually work against
us. For example, we have learned untruths that cause us to live the role of
the victim, either of circumstances or of our past. These erred beliefs
cause us to cry out in pain, "Why me, Lord?"
answer is that we are not victims but victors. God has said that we can
trust Him in everything and that every event in our lives should be counted
as ALL joy (James 1:2). He has also told us that He will cause good to come
out of every situation for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). When we ask
"Why me, God" it's really because we don't believe God. Our belief
system opposes God, so we feel singled out and victimized.
of us believe, at least on some level, that we need to understand
everything. We just need to know why. When we don't, we may feel God has
betrayed us in some way. In reality, it's not God who is confusing us or
betraying us, it is our belief system. All those inconsistent, partially
correct beliefs cause us to question God's fairness in what we are
experiencing. For example, somewhere in our belief system, we may have come
to believe that we deserve to be blessed because we have been diligent to
honor God, been a good person, fed the hungry, or helped our neighbor. We
often believe that the things we do should keep us from harm's way. Then
when something bad happens, we are confused and ask God why.
Me, God? - Changing our Thinking
something happens that deeply touches us, we often ask, "Why me,
God?" We are quick to judge the event as good or bad. What if we were
to eliminate the possibility that anything that happens to us is inherently
bad and choose to believe that everything that happens to us is always good?
Impossible, you say? It has to be one or the other, doesn't it?
systems are changeable. When we discover that something we have believed,
even for a long time, is no longer valid, can we not simply change our mind
and fully embrace the new? If you are crying out "Why me, God?"
you must believe there is a God out there who hears you and you have hoped
He would answer you. Maybe there was a time when you didn't believe there
was a God at all. If you changed your mind and opened your life to God, then
you can also change your mind about judging events as being bad for you.
we choose to believe that ALL the events in our life are good for us, even
the ones that seem frustrating and painful for now, we are agreeing with
God! When we choose to believe and trust God that there will always be a
good outcome, we are trusting Him! Only God knows why we are going through
these circumstances. Our new dialogue with God will be, "God, this is
going to be an interesting journey. I'm excited to see how you are going to
bring good out of this one. I trust you will!"
Me, God? - God is in Control
often uses the events in our lives to do a work in the life of someone else.
The truth is that we all tend to have a very small world view. Our world
revolves around us and because everything in our personal world affects us,
we forget that we are not the cause and effect of everything. The reality is
that we are one of millions of human beings making decisions every second.
Every one of those decisions affects the world, while only some of them
affect us directly.
are not in control. God is in control and nothing happens apart from Him.
Nothing changes except it proceeds from Him. In Genesis we read how God
created all things, set them in their place, gave them direction, and set
them into motion in perfect harmony and balance. No matter how many
free-will decisions are made every second, everything remains in God's
balance. Hebrews 1:3 says, "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and
the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful
word…" No individual can throw the universe into disorder. God is
always in control.
isn't always fair in our eyes, but God is always fair. We are not victims in
this life. We are unconditionally and passionately loved by our Father God.
Perhaps when we are feeling distressed and we ask, "Why me?" His
answer might be, "Trust Me, I love you. I am working everything out for
Me, God? - One Man's Story
man in the Bible named Job asked, "Why me, God?" He enjoyed a good
life. He was favored of God and blameless in God's sight. Satan, not being
omniscient, was seemingly not aware of Job's existence until one day the
Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no
one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and
shuns evil" (Job 1:8). God challenged, encouraged, and allowed Satan to
inflict personal extreme pain and suffering on Job. Because God knew Job,
and knew he had chosen to love God no matter what, the Lord allowed Job's
faith to be sorely tested. He permitted Satan to kill Job's family, plunder
his land and cattle, and to destroy everything Job held dear in the earth.
is the lesson? God demonstrated to Satan (and to us) that those whose hearts
are truly turned to God, serve God, and love God passionately, cannot be
turned away from God by any of Satan's tactics. God knew Job, his strengths
and weaknesses, and He knew that Job was strong enough to go through
everything Satan could unleash. Job, through God's strength, made it through
his circumstances. Job understood that a person can lose everything they
have, but when we belong to God, we have everything we need.
didn't do anything wrong. He was a servant of God, He loved God, and He was
loved by God. Job's story is about trusting God for a good outcome, even
while going through dire circumstances. Does that mean that all the bad
things that happen in our lives are a "Job" event? Not
necessarily. Job's lesson was passed down so we would know that God will
bring about a good result for those who love Him, who steadfastly trust Him
in all circumstances.
Me, God? - Hope
you totally trusting God in your circumstances? Do you believe His ways are
always just and fair? Do you trust that His plans for you are for good and
not for evil? If so, share those feelings with God. Consider the following
prayer, "Dear Father, I trust You. I believe that You are in control of
my life and that You allowed this circumstance to enter my life. I trust
that You have a good result planned. Teach me to lean less on my own
understanding and more on You. In Jesus' name, amen."
Do Preachers Leave The Ministry?
Parable of the Cook
pretend that you're a cook who feeds the same people every week. You go to
the store, pay for the ingredients, work hard cooking the meal, open the
doors and the usual patrons wander in. Many of them are actually out of
shape, lazy as a dog, and picky as a two year old. Some things are too hot,
some are too cold. Some simply go through the line and take what they want.
Others complain about everything that's on the menu that they don't like.
“Why do they even have squash? I hate squash.” Or, “How come they
don't have sweet potatoes? Every other decent restaurant in town has sweet
potatoes.” Sometimes they'll say, “We have the best fried chicken in
town. It's better than every other diner out there.”
begin to notice that most of the patrons aren't really that hungry. They
just come to inspect the food. They load up anyway, though most of the food
on the plates will go unconsumed. When they go through the line there is a
donation box at the end to offset the cost of the food and perhaps to tip
the cook. Most pay. Some even leave a tip, smile, and say thank you. It's
this appreciation that will often make the difference between whether or not
the cook keeps cooking, for some days it can get discouraging to be a cook.
a rare occasion, the usual customers will see a hungry person in the
marketplace and tell him where he can go to get a good meal and become
healthy again. Most of the time the hungry go unnoticed because they're
everywhere, and so are the diners. When a starving person wanders in,
everyone gets excited. They share their meal and even save the newcomer a
place at the table. It's a happy time when you get to see someone enjoy a
hot meal for the first time.
happens one day that the critique of the food turns to criticism of the
cook. What once was delicious is now boring. Eventually the criticism of the
cook digs into criticism of his motives and character. “Why does he really
cook?” some say. There are some who start talking about the donation box.
“If he really cares about us, he'll do it without needing to put that
offensive donation box at the end of the line.” They begin to sit at
various tables and tell people that we don't need to give the cook any money
for the food. They say, “Don't tell the cook that he's doing a good job
because then he won't try harder and will never become a better cook. By not
encouraging him, we're actually helping him."”They use every angle
possible to convince people that the cook is greedy and only cares about the
money in the donation box. “He's just a hireling,” they say. “He needs
to be taught a lesson in how to cook for the sake of cooking alone. That's
true culinary perfection.”
cook begins to go broke. He needs to pay the bills and so he gets another
job, and another job, and another job, and eventually, he doesn't have
energy to cook anymore. He still does, but he's just not as excited about it
as he used to be. In weeks to come, people gather, go through the line, load
up, and when they get to the end of the line, they not only don't tip
anymore, they don't even pay for the food. That would be fine with the cook
because sometimes they're not able to and that's ok. The cook is just glad
they're there, that they're eating something, and that they're sharing with
problem is that they don't even say thank you anymore. They just load up and
walk away. They still criticize what they don't like and compare the food to
the other diners. They never take the time to tell the cook that the food is
good, decent, hot, or fresh. After some months pass, the cook begins to
wonder if these people aren't trying to tell him something. The fact that
they come and load up and most of it goes uneaten begins to make him think,
“Perhaps they need, not just a new dish, but a new cook.” Secretly a few
individual patrons encourage the cook and bless his family but it seems as
though they have to hide their efforts from the rest of the patrons. The
cook gets it. He realizes that there is an attitude that has taken over the
restaurant that will never allow the patrons to express appreciation as a
collective group. These patrons wish to take over the cooking for
themselves. He announces that he's hanging up his apron, but fear not, the
diner will still stay open under new management. Some patrons organize a
dinner and invite him and his family to attend a meal in his honor. He
attends. One last time, everybody loads up, walks away, eats, and goes home.
And that's it. The cook says, “I'm done with the restaurant business. I'm
better off doing something else.” So he goes away, cooks for his family
and a few genuinely hungry people he comes across, works in peace, and lives
happily ever after.
So Much Pain and Suffering?
lady went to a beauty shop to have her hair cut and her nails painted and
trimmed. As the lady began to work, they began to have a good conversation.
They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually
touched on the subject of God, the beautician said : "I don't believe
that God exists." "Why do you say that?" asked Sheryl who has
MS. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God
doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people?
Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither
suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of
these things." Then Sheryl thought for a moment, but didn't respond
because she didn't want to start an argument. The beautician just finished
her job and the customer left the shop.
after she left the beauty shop, she saw a woman in the street with long,
stringy, dirty hair and not groomed at all. She looked dirty and unkempt.
Sheryl turned back and entered the beauty shop again and she said to the
beautician: "You know what? Beauticians do not exist." "How
can you say that?" asked the surprised beautician. "I am here, and
I am a beautician. And I just worked on you!" "No!" Sheryl
exclaimed. "Beauticians don't exist because if they did, there would be
no people with dirty long hair and be very unkempt, like that woman
outside." "Ah, but beauticians DO exist! What happens is, people
do not come to me." "Exactly!"- affirmed Sheryl. "That 's
the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him
and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in
they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him,
though he be not far from every one of us (Act 17:27).
- Number 4 -
July/August 2012 BC
is published every other month. Send all inquiries, address changes and
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Gage, PO Box 3425, Fayetteville, AR 72702-3425
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