Tag Archives: Blessed to bless others

Why Me? – Another perspective


Why me? Have you ever asked this question when some calamity came upon you? It’s a common question to all of us. We want to know why something happened, thinking that knowing the answer would somehow help lessen the pain and suffering or help us out of that dark place. If you research the topic of suffering in the bible you will find a number of reasons there is suffering, even undeserved suffering in this world.

Sometimes we suffer because of the mistakes we make. We control our own choices, but not the consequences of those choices. Be it drinking, smoking, drug abuse, financial squandering, wasted time, or relational abuse, we reap what we sow – just as God said.

Sometimes our suffering comes as a result of the poor choices others make, reminding us that the decisions don’t just affect us. I think of the little child who was instantly killed a couple hundred feet from where we lived in Australia, when a young man struck her while traveling too fast over a hill.

Most often we suffer as a result of a fallen world. What God created as good, man has destroyed. In his perfect Eden, people and animals and plants flourished. In our present world, everything, including cancer, progresses toward decay and suffering.

In all of this God promises to work good for those who love him and are called according to his name. In the middle of Paul’s significant struggles he proclaimed, “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” Philippians 1:12  In other words, there is meaning and purpose in suffering.

God doesn’t waste pain.

God uses pain and sorrow and suffering to draw us closer to himself, to make us more tender toward one another, to teach us important life lessons, and shape into who we were meant to be.

But while we ask “Why me?” and search for answers to our suffering, I wonder if we might explore another aspect of the question”Why me?” (Thanks to brother Bruce for this perspective.)

“Why Lord, have you heaped impossible mountains of blessings upon me?

  • Life itself, consciousness beyond our chemical composition -yikes, what did I do to deserve THAT?
  • A beautiful world, nestled in a wondrous universe. Frontiers to explore with gifts of muscle and brain.
  • Creatures galore, and human creatures too, allowing an infinite variety and depth of relationships, Free will, opportunity and challenge”

Indeed, Why Me? Why have I been so blessed by the gift of friends and family? How did I come to deserve such a devoted and loving wife? Why am I allowed to live in the land named “luxury” by most everyone else in the world. Why have you made my heart tender and receptive to your love and chosen me for an eternity of undeserved joy?

Wherever we find suffering, there is blessing to be discovered also, blessing that is fueled by a thankful heart and perpetuated by sharing that same blessing with others.

We are blessed in order to bless others.

The Psalmist says:

“May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us.” Psalm 67 v 1

Why? Why is God gracious to us and bless us? 

“so that your ways may be known on earth,
    your salvation among all nations. ” Psalm 67 v 2

We are blessed so that others may know God’s ways, that his salvation may be among all nations. In what ways are you blessed today – in order to bless those around you with the great love of God?

Blessings travel on two-way streets

Have you ever noticed that when you are intentional in brightening the path of others, that your path is also brightened? It’s NOT that you do good in order to get good. And the blessing you receive may be an entirely different kind than the one you give. But reciprocal blessings just seem to be the way things work. Like the old song, “Love is something, when you give it away, you end up having more,” we are blessed so we can bless others, and in turn we are blessed again.

God designed blessings to travel on two-way streets.
May your travels today be filled with intentional blessings!

That one thing that speaks to your heart

Have you ever read a whole book or watched a whole movie (or maybe listened to a whole sermon!) only to remember ONE poignant line that really spoke to you? Actually, I think that is perfectly fine and to be commended. When I used to do all day seminars and consulting, I would often tell my audience that if they remembered and applied just one single ONE concept that improved their life, it would pay the tuition for the whole day. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time fully incorporating the “7 essentials” of successful living or “14 ways to improve your life.” As for me, focusing on intentionally improving one or two things at a time is about my limit.

In fact, I still tend to summarize the primary point(s) of each chapter I read and then the one or two most important points that spoke to me from the whole book. I find myself intentionally listening for ‘that one line’ from a movie that speaks to my heart. For example, Facing the Giants is a film about football and faith. But apart from the football theme, the line that spoke to my heart was when the coach’s wife, in the depth or her disappointment, turned to God and said, “And still I will trust you.”

You might find yourself thinking similarly about a special place or time that remains so special to you. What special quality about that memory speaks so deeply to you? And how can you strive to achieve a similar experience right where you are now? Instead of looking back to the past for happiness, how can you carry those special ‘lessons learned’ to the present and enjoy them all your life? Even Jesus summarized God’s message to us in two commands to remember and apply to our daily lives: Love God and love others!

Similarly, you might think about a person who you find ministers to your soul when they are near. Of all the characteristics that describe them, what is at the essence of their being that speaks peace or joy to you? And how can you incorporate that same essence into who you are?

Our lives are filled with an immense amount of information, data, experiences, and emotions. Choosing to remember and maintain the essential few builds us up and strengthens and encourages us. It allows us to use our blessings to bless others.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8