We’re often taught that if we are good, follow God and do the right things, our lives will be great.
But, the fact is – life is still life. The bumps and bruises don’t stop coming. Even when (sometimes, most especially) you’re good.
I’ll be one of the first to admit that I often forget this little nugget.
Sometimes I get so caught up in life, that my prayer begins to look like: “But God, What About ME?!?”
It’s hard, isn’t it? When we’re not doing the things we think we should be doing, the things we want to be doing. When we can’t purchase the things we feel we need or the things we think we deserve. When things just don’t go our way. When troubles weigh on our hearts and minds and we just feel so alone. When we lay things down to follow God just to be met with obstacles instead of miracles. When justice seems like some big joke.
And, if you’re anything like me, it can be easy to look around you and begin comparing yourself to others and their circumstances and lives.
We begin to count the good things, the holy things, that we have done for God and suddenly, it feels like He owes us. Or, at least we should be more deserving than some of these other folks!!
Oh man, how I feel that way some days. Sometimes things just seem so incredibly unfair that I just want to cry out, “But God, What About ME?!?”
In Job 30, Job feels a lot like we do sometimes.
20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly;
with the might of your hand you attack me.
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;
you toss me about in the storm.
23 I know you will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.
24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man
when he cries for help in his distress.
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?
Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
when I looked for light, then came darkness.
27 The churning inside me never stops;
days of suffering confront me.
28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun;
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother of jackals,
a companion of owls.
30 My skin grows black and peels;
my body burns with fever.
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,
and my pipe to the sound of wailing.
And God’s response? It was something like: Who do you think you are?
We live the way we should be anyhow, and we expect brownie points. We know Jesus was nailed to a cross for OUR SINS and because our Lord loves us so much, yet sometimes our response is to ask for more. Sometimes, it’s like we forget.
We all know the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), but so very often, we zoom in on the brother that comes home. But, how much are we like the other brother? – The one who went out into the field and came back to his brother’s party, exclaiming how UNFAIR things were, after all it was HE that was the good one. Why wasn’t HE getting blessed with special treatment? But, while he was doing everything right on the “outside,” his heart was still in need of changing. He looked the part, alright, but he hadn’t become the part.
Oh, how hard these stories have hit me this week. I cried out, “But God, what about ME?!?” And, this week… he said, “Yes, what about you? Let’s talk about that…”