The other shoe

Most of us have encountered some difficulty that perplexes and challenges us to the point of frustration or deep sorrow. In times of persistent and relentless troubles we often ask, “Why?” Why has this sorrow knocked at my door? Why has this pain barged into my life? Why has this burden weighed upon me like a crushing boulder?

We ask “Why?” hoping that an answer will appear and calm our anxiety. It’s not just the big things like a life-threatening diagnosis, a devastated relationship or financial ruin. We ask “Why?” about the small stuff too. Why, when I’m in a hurry, are all the stop lights red? Why did it have to rain when I was going to take a walk? Why was my flight delayed, my luggage list, my request denied, my wallet stolen or my keys lost?

You’ve been there and so have I. Even if we’ve learned to not dwell on the “Why” of our circumstances, the question continues to pop up. “Why?” “Why ME?”

But you know, there’s another question to ask that leads us to a place of gratitude and humility. It’s asking questions like, “Why was I born in a country of such riches when others struggle to survive? Why do I get to access clean water while others travel miles for this basic commodity? Why am I allowed this job I grumble about when others who are eager to work can’t find employment? Why am I burdeed by how much extra weight I have when so very many have no food? Why do I complain about medication side effects when so many have no access to the most basic medical care? Why did I benefit from the sacrificial gift of Jesus WHILE I was still a sinner? Why am I so blessed?

Why? Why me?

The answers may vary but they all speak to the loving and amazing grace of God. It’s not that I’m blessed and “they” aren’t. The “favor of God” falls clearly on the poor as on the rich. In fact, God blesses the poor and warns the rich. While God allows both wealth and poverty, neither of them are marks of his grace. The mark of God’s grace is indelibly imprinted on the heart that chooses to follow him and honor him in all situations. The joy of the Lord is not only found in celebration parties; it’s displayed openly in a faithful life that is unshaken by the circumstances that surround.

We are blessed in order to bless others. Walk a mile in another’s shoes and discover a new way of asking “Why? and a sufficient reason to give thanks for all you have – to share so they can ask, “Why am I so blessed?!”

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