Why Me, Lord?

Self pity, as defined by Websters dictionairy means: pity for oneself; especially : a self-indulgent dwelling on one’s own sorrows or misfortunes. Lets look at the last part of the definition- “A self-indulgent dwelling on one’s own sorrows or misfortunes”.  How many times a day do you find yourself saying “why me?”, or whining “why can’t I get a break?” as you face yet another tiresome glitch in your day? As Christians we are taught to entrust our pleas to the Lord, that all we would need to do is ask, and it will be given. But I do not think our Creator included self pity as a valid basis for prayer.

In Psalm 22:1-5 we are beseeching God to rescue us, groaning about the many trials man must endure. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” We then go on to continue our whining, saying “But I am a worm”, {hear the poor me?} “scorned by others, and despised by people”. As if because of our very humanness, we are not worthy to be rescued by God. But the complaining doesn’t stop there. “ All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads; “Commit your cause to the LORD; let him deliver– let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”  Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.”

How many of us have felt just like this poor soul, crying out to God to help us with a trial, a daily issue, or even just something as simple as finding a good parking spot? I know here lately that is all I seem to be doing. Whining to my loving Father because life is just so not fair, crying so many self- pity tears that I have inherited stock in Kleenex tissue. And when an answer, or assistance doesn’t immediately come, I feel like maybe I am just not worth His time. I am a nothing, a nobody. But yet I cry, “ I am your daughter God, why do you not give me what I want?” Yet knowing He never gives us what we want, but always what we need.

As we continue to read in Psalms, “ Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.  Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me;  they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;  my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.”  Some days are just like this, feeling like our daily struggles are just too much to bear. I know there have been many times “my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast”. As if just one more thing, will send my soul, my spirit in to a deepening chasm of despair, with no hope or rescue in sight.  Just as if I were to already be “in the dust of death”.

But in Hebrews 4:12-16, we are given a glimmer of just how understanding our God really is, and though we may wallow in self-pity, He really does understand what we are going through.

“ Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

This is a very simple but powerful passage for me, and I imagine for many of you. Yes, we whine and complain about yet another item on our to-do list. Or maybe you are like me, and feel as if your spirit has been battered by too many life problems or issues.  We all know the biggies-death, divorce, illness, financial hardship-but what about all those little things that crop up, taxing our already over-loaded emotional and mental resources? Do we complain, indulge in self-pity (I am so guilty of this one), or present a stoic front to the world, thinking we are stronger than these trials? Sorry folks, none of those things will work. First, when you complain enough, people stop listening. And since God already knows the desires of your heart, and as spirit made flesh, He has experienced pretty much everything, then whining to Him is not helpful. Since we have a loving Father “who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.”, know that your sufferings have been seen and understood.

The next step in this wallowing of despair is self-pity. Do you often feel as if you are the only one going through something? Or maybe you just feel alone, like no one could possibly understand what you are going through.  Trust me, I have been there……..more times than I can count. And though I don’t always quickly pull myself out of it, I am learning to recognize this destructive time-waster. For me, it helps to know God has pretty much got things under control, even if I can’t see it at the time. But there are days I still am too stubborn to admit that maybe I am not the one in control of the Universe.

“Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”

Looks to me like there is the answer-not whining, not complaining, and certainly not self pity.  That if we boldly approach God, who already knows our needs, we will find mercy and grace. Though we may not see it at the time, He is working in us, and through us, caring for His children in his time, not ours. God knows the desires of your heart, He understands your trials because He himself, through Jesus, has been there, and knowing this, we are tasked with allowing our loving Father to take control, His will then shall be done.

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