and sometimes the question is why not me?
It’s something like survivor’s guilt. Maybe your cancer wasn’t as aggressive or far along as someone else’s you knew. Maybe your treatments didn’t make you as sick or you didn’t lose your hair. Or your life.
Maybe you are sitting across from someone who hasn’t been asked out by anyone in a year while you are going on and on about how difficult it is to find a decent wedding dress that doesn’t make you look like a cumulus cloud that got caught in a grinder. Or maybe your friend bursts into tears to tell you that she had sex with someone she barely even knows and he hasn’t called her in over a week.
Maybe you are complaining about your job and how miserable you are sitting at your desk day in and day out, while the person in the booth next to yours at the restaurant you’re eating at is thinking about how he needs to tell his wife he just lost his job and they have to stop eating out for awhile.
Do we ever really know why? Can we ever explain the exact formula that equals me being happier than a pig in poop while you are next in line for the bacon press?
My heart is heavy with thoughts of those weathering a storm now in other parts of the country – parts I used to live in. I think about how I didn’t even have to buy one gallon of water and now I’m sitting here with a really good beer and typing away on my laptop while some of you – those of you who can’t read this right now I might add – are wondering if you will have enough gas in the BBQ to cook for the next however many days.
Is there balance in these things? Can we say that The Universe has some kind of vague equation where it is constantly shifting its favor in order to keep the status quo?
I am reminded of the verse in the bible “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” It feels so arbitrary and haphazard. Doesn’t God care? Isn’t He supposed to be working all things out for our good for those who love him and are called? Isn’t life supposed to be a bit easier than this?
Or maybe you’ve listened to the hype of crazy loons, er I mean well intentioned Christians, who say things like the storm is because America is lost and God is punishing us. I’m pretty sure God makes it clear throughout scripture that this isn’t an explicit if A then B scenario. Let’s not forget that whole episode with Jesus being asked if some man was afflicted because of his father or his own sin. Or that time when that guy named Job was beat up with a vengeance, allowed by God, by Satan who just wanted to test the poor sap to see where he would break. We know it wasn’t sin and we know it was for all of us to see true suffering and pain and to be encouraged.
And it hits me. Our lives, my life, much like Job’s and the man with the affliction, are all for the glory of God, so that the work of God might be seen far and wide. Whatever we go through, whatever our story, the work of God must be evident, like a city on a hill which cannot be hidden. Our lives are like broken clay pots, cracked and imperfect, but allowing the light to shine through. My life is not my own. I belong to something much greater, pointing, always ever pointing, to the Savior and Giver of life. And I know He will always bring me through the storm or He will lead me home. It is good to know where you’re headed and what you are about. I don’t know how anyone gets through any other way.