Sunday, April 12, 2015

When Adversity Comes: Why Me?

 
April 12, 2015
 
Page 7 E
 
 
When Adversity Comes: Why Me?
 
 
By Peggy Toney Horton
 
     Sometimes I find that shortly after I have read or studied a particular subject, I am presented with an opportunity to use my newfound knowledge to help someone. Though this has happened many times, it surprises me each time it occurs. I am awestruck by God’s perfect timing and have no doubt that He is in control.
     Recently, a friend who had just lost her mother, was separated from her husband, and is faced with serious health problems herself, told me that she had been taught that God would not put more on her than she could bear. She is convinced, however, that He has done exactly that. Her question: “Why me?”
     I deemed this an “Aha!” moment because, only the day before, I had delved into a study about why God allows adversity, and was able to share with my friend some of what I had learned:
     When adversity comes, we are forced to face problems and pressures that are too big for us to resolve. In this way, God gets our attention. If life is good, we tend to ignore Him. Becoming self-satisfied, we incorrectly assume that if nothing is wrong, everything is right. However, God wants a relationship with His children, just as we long for a close tie with ours, so when we are so involved with earthly pleasures that we don’t have time for Him, He sometimes uses adversity to bring us around.
      Faced with new difficulties, we can’t continue to pursue our goals, tasks, and relationships in the usual manner. We have to stop and evaluate our situation, ask God for wisdom, obey His Word, and trust Him to bring the help we need. Troubles point out our weaknesses and prompt us to rely on God in ways that we wouldn’t unless we had significant needs.
     C. S. Lewis wrote in his book, The Problem of Pain, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
     Think about what God did to Saul, who later became the apostle Paul. As he was traveling to Damascus to arrest believers, God struck him down with blinding light. Thinking his blindness was permanent, Saul was now ready to listen to God. Realizing that Christ was the Messiah, he immediately began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God (Acts 9:20).
     Such is the influence of adversity. When we are preoccupied with our own interests and desires, we cannot see the need for His involvement in our lives, but things change quickly when trouble strikes. Challenging times have been known to bring even the most stubborn of us to our knees.
     If God has allowed adversity to befall you, He may be trying to get your undivided attention. He wants you to trust Him. He wants you to talk to Him. He desires a relationship with you. Seeing all things, perhaps He knows you are about to make a bad decision and wants to help you avoid it. Whatever your circumstances, rest assured that God has a purpose for everything He does. He may even have something exciting in store for you.
     The good news is, although He sometimes allows us to have difficulties, God responds to the cry of His children when they suffer. “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).
     Surprisingly, my friend listened to my little sermon with genuine interest. When I had finished, she wiped tears from her eyes and said, “Well, He certainly has my attention!”
     Peggy Toney Horton lives in Nitro and can be reached at pegylu@suddenlink.net
 

6 comments:

  1. Read this in the morning paper Peg. Loved it as I do all your columns! Clipped it and put it on my refrigerator for everyone to see. Keep up the good work!

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  2. This is so true. I've been there so many times. I get busy and forget to pray as much and miss church services. Life is so busy, I just don't have time for anything else. Seems the first thing we let slide is God. How wrong we are! But he always brings us back into the fold and sometimes the way he does it is not pleasant for us, but if we're wise we learn from it.. Thanks for reminding us Peggy.

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  3. This is a wonderful article! You have such a talent for writing things in a way that lets the reader easily understand their meaning. A lot of Religion writers write over the heads of most of us. Your writing also touches the heart. Many times, I have cried while reading your columns. Don't ever stop writing these essays Peggy!

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  4. When someone asks me Why me? I often asked them Why not you? Isaiah tells us that even our best is like filthy rags. We in our sinful beings deserve nothing good but because of God's love at the cross we receive His best.

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  5. Peggy, Peggy, Peggy you are a transmission line between God and people. Your articles are eye opening to many. I am so blessed to have you as a friend. Thank you for being Gods mouth piece.

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    1. Ah, Drema, you are too kind! I love you!

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