'Why me?' Instead of asking rhetorically, ask God with humility

(Felipe Portella | Unsplash)

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mt. 27: 46)

One day I was on my way home from a long, stressful, and frustrating day at work. In an effort to cope, I stopped for my favorite ice cream: a Reese's blizzard with extra Reese's, to go. Wrapped in a brown paper bag, it was not until I got home that I discovered there were no Reese's. I experienced what felt like a small mental breakdown, obviously not about the cup of vanilla ice cream. At that moment, I was trying to alleviate my suffering without God, and, as most of us know, that does not work. “To be self-sufficient is to be God deficient” (Greg Sukart).

They know not what they do

There have been times in my life where I have felt entitled to justice when there was wrong done, and sometimes even when there was none. Other people have caused pain in my life out of malice, insensitivity and recklessness. When you are treated poorly, not noticed, or hurt by another person, what do you do about it? Does the reason behind it, intentional or accidental, make it less impactful to you? How do we reconcile our feelings with a Christlike response? We know the answer, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23: 34). How do we practice it?

What you focus on expands

It is easy to say forgive like Jesus, but sometimes forgiving someone can feel dismissive of the pain we have endured. It can feel like no one knows or cares about us. Little do our hearts understand that forgiving someone is not as much for them as it is for us. Our perspective and attitude have an influence on our heart's ability to experience the flow of grace that God wants to give us during our darkest days. I do not know who coined the phrase or concept, but I've heard it said in the workplace, “What you focus on expands.” Why is it that we spend so much time and energy focusing on our pain instead of our blessings?

The seven phrases

God can use anyone and anything to help us get to heaven, even the pain and suffering we encounter, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). If we focus on and seek what is true, what is just, and what is of God, then He can open our hearts to the strength He wants to give us in this life. Jesus invited us to embrace our crosses through His words on the cross, all seven phrases. We are called to surrender, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). What does that mean, and how do we do it?

'I thirst' (John 19:28)

Mother Teresa wrote a beautiful meditation on these words of Jesus, “I thirst for you.” The same way a drink can refresh you, a meal can satisfy you or a good night's sleep can energize you, a relationship with God can give you peace. Not only is it something that He can do, but it is something He longs to give you! We have a desire to be loved; we were created with it, and that can only be satisfied through a relationship with God. Why do we look under every rock for this type of love before we look to Him?

The straw that broke the camel’s back

It can be easy to get caught up in the challenges, the pain, the suffering, and other negative things about our days. My suspicion is that I was not denied my Reese’s to ruin my day, but rather it was a careless mistake. When you find yourself in a “Why me?” situation, invite God to give you an answer. How can God use your experience to bring yourself or others closer to Him by your Christ-centered response? “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). As followers of Christ, we believe, but we are called to pray for grace where there is unbelief. “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

Mary Morasso is a mother and parishioner of SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Sterling Heights. She holds a bachelor's degree in pastoral theology from Sacred Heart Major Seminary and has taught theology at the high school level.



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