"Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad--for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world."
-1 Peter 4:12-13
Injuries in sports happen, and players suffer. A common, human response is "Why me?" However, every once in awhile you will find an exception--an exceptional athlete who will not question why, but who will make the most of an experience to show his/her teammates that they can succeed even if they cannot compete. I was privileged to know a young man who did just that. Bryan was a promising walk-on player who earned a scholarship quickly. He was climbing up the depth chart rapidly and moved into the starting lineup. As his junior year approached, he was even predicted to be a pre-season All-Conference player. But then his career took a different turn.
In life, we are not promised that all will go well. Bad things do happen to good people. In fact, it is uncommon not to have something go wrong in life. Family members die, friends get cancer, people get in accidents, children get sick. Whatever the issue, it is our response that makes or breaks us. When bad things happen, many people blame God and ask, "Why me?" But if we truly follow Christ, shouldn't we ask, "Why not me?" In His Word, God tells us not to be surprised if something goes wrong, but to look to Him and how His glory can be revealed.
Do you know any "why me" people? I do. And I'm sorry to say that there have been times in my life when that person was me. However, through different trials and battles that I and my family have faced, we have come to be more of the "why not me" crowd. God can use us to reach others as much as He can use anyone else. It is all a matter of how we choose to respond.
As I mentioned earlier, Bryan did not become an all-conference player. He played only five games his final two years. But I never heard him ask, "Why me?" He took the why-not-me attitude, and his teammates looked at him as one of the most inspirational players on the team.
What trial or struggle are you going through? Is your focus on yourself ("Why me?") or is it on God ("Why not me?")? Respond like Christ did on the cross. He knew the purpose and plan for His suffering, and because of it, we can be reunited with Him one day. Your response can have an eternal difference.
1. Are you a "Why me" or "Why not me" person?
2. Is your focus on the situation or on the Savior?
3. Today, how can you learn to respond to struggles more like Christ did?