The Thankfulness of “Why Me?”

My friend Phil Reinders at Squinch reminded me of a great statement by G.K. Chesterton: “Here ends another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands and the great world around me. Tomorrow begins another day. Why am I allowed two?” Phil’s blog reminds us that we must ask the “Why me?” question in good times as well as tragic times. I often find myself asking the questions, “How did I win the lottery of being born in Canada rather than Haiti?” “Why did I get to live in the family I did with two good parents who loved me?” I have seen enough drug-addicted single parent situations (that cannot even be called family) to know that I might have been born into one such as that. Yes, these are just as difficult “why me?” questions. G.K. Chesterton asks why he is allowed two but when I do the math I can count more than 18,000 days in which I have had eyes, ears, hands, and much more.

I lost a good friend to cancer a year and a half ago. He was about 56 years old at the time; by today’s standards, too young to die. A few years before that I had a miraculous experience with the disappearance of a mass on the pons of my brain. Why did my friend die while I carried on living? These are important questions that will never be fully answered this side of heaven. But I still ask these questions and as I ask them I lift up a silent prayer of thanksgiving to the One who has made me with eyes, and ears, and hands, and a healthy pons, and with the ability to ask the “why me?” question in good times and in bad. In this season of Thanksgiving, my desire is to live a truly thankful life.

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