Luke 10-11; Jon 10:22-42
I’ve shared with you that I had to evacuate my home during Hurricane Matthew recently. It was an odd feeling, backing out of my drive, watching the garage door close, and not knowing what I’d find when I returned. I paused before driving away and looked at the house I’d bought only a month before. Would it even be there two days from now?
I sat there for a moment and thought of my piano, pictures of loved ones, things with value only to me for their sentimental importance. I prayed, “It’s all Yours anyway, Lord. Take care of Your stuff.” And He did.
The next Sunday my church family greeted each other with praise on our lips. The island had been spared from devastation. Many trees miraculously fell between houses instead of on them. Flooding was minimal. We were all sharing our stories of how God had intervened on our behalf.
But one woman, a dear lady who is usually quick to praise the Lord, didn’t join in. I asked her how her house fared and she said, “Not so good.” The trees in her yard had not missed her house. She had major damage from the same storm I and others had escaped.
That morning our pastor spoke to us about that very thing. The knowledge that our island was spared from the worst of the storm should drive us to our knees in humility. The people of Haiti had a different outcome. The Carolina coast was devastated by that storm. Lives were lost. Homes destroyed. Families uprooted.
Did all those people forget to pray? Did God answer our prayers because we are so special? Was this God’s punishment toward everybody else, including my friend?
I am not ashamed to praise God for sparing my home. He did that. I rejoice in that. But I didn’t deserve it. The goodness of God was shown in the fact that all of us were’t wiped out in the storm. I don’t want to miss that example of God’s goodness. Even my friend, who is in the process of putting her house back together, is able to thank God. She rejoices in how He is working in her life through this ordeal.
The question when bad things happen isn’t “Why me?” We are sinful people. We have rejected God, and even those of us who have accepted God’s grace continue to fail Him. We shouldn’t expect good things to happen to us, if we think we ought to get what we deserve.
The question should be, “Why NOT me?” And the answer is God. We don’t deserve God’s mercy. But He is merciful anyway. We don’t deserve His protection, but He still protects us. We deserve His wrath, but He forgives us when we ask.
Dear God, I want to be able to recognize Your goodness in all things. I want to see Your hand as You answer prayer, as You work miraculously in my life, as You are faithful in all circumstances. I am humbled by Your care. I feel like Paul who called himself a wretched man, chief of sinners. Why me, Lord? Why are You so good to me? I want to live a grateful life. I want to serve You just because You love me so much. Help me to see Your love in everything that happens to me today. And may I live today with praise on my lips.