We all ask “Why?” — Why me? Why now? Why here? It seems to be the question to ask when we don’t like something that has happened to us, when we are in an uncomfortable place or in an unhappy circumstance.
Twice this weekend I have heard the why question answered, each time from the same contrary perspective. From the perspective that I am not supposed to figure out “why?” but rather I am to figure out “what?”
What am I supposed to learn, to change, or to take away from this experience? What gift has this person given me that I am supposed to use more thoughtfully? What character trait am I judging someone else on that I am just as guilty?
Grace comes from where God places us.
We saw the movie The Grace Card this weekend. (Recommended!) One of the main characters is a minister who’s put into an uncomfortable position. He keeps trying to figure out why he is in the other person’s life, why he has been placed in this situation, what he is supposed to be teaching the other character.
A wise man points out to him, that just possibly, he, the minister, is not where he is “at’ to help but rather to learn from that the other person — to make him see better his own ministry, his own purpose, even his own shortcomings.
Not “why” has this happened, but “what” grace is God granting so that I may become more humble, so that I may have my eyes opened more fully to the grace He has given me.
“Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Cor 9:8).
Who has God put in my life not so that I can help them, but rather so that they may be an example to me, so that I may be touched by the patience, courage, commitment, service or other graces they exhibit? Who is in my life to teach me how to handle suffering, or who is a role model for giving of their time, talent, and treasure?
While we can all learn from someone who is recognized as a teacher, we can probably learn just as much from the student who grows because of circumstances beyond their control. If we are open to God’s grace than we will be blessed with hope, comfort, and joy.
Lord, humble me, so that I may see my life from a different perspective: not from a why am I here, but from a what can I do better attitude. Let me not ask why do I have this burden, but instead to reflect on how to use this circumstance to better serve You. Bless my eyes so they may see, bless my ears so they may hear. Thank You for the blessings and burdens which bring me Your grace. Help me to keep my heart open to Your abundant grace. Amen.