Why Me? – John 9:2

Why Me? – John 9:2

   One of the mental hurdles sufferers have to overcome is the age-old question, “Why me?” The longing to understand “Why me?” often transforms itself into a different question, “What did I do to deserve this?” For Christians who are suffering, these questions can often be translated into “What sin have I committed to deserve this?” This question almost always comes up, even for well-versed, battle-tested Christians, during moments of intense sorrow, pain, and suffering. It must be admitted, though I preached and heard many sermons on this topic, I found myself grappling with these questions when MS was at its worst and I was under intense pain. This mental process can be damaging to one’s recovery and, even more importantly, one’s relationship with God if it is not addressed. Here are four things I remind myself of when moments of doubt creep in and I began to wonder, why me?


There are no winners in a three-legged race

   First, I remind myself that it is normal, even beneficial, to scour my life for sin during times of suffering, because it can improve my relationship with God. One of the benefits of suffering is it causes us to look up, become less self-reliant, and more cognizant of how we are living. However even if sin is found, it does not necessarily mean you have been inflicted with physical suffering because of sin. In reality, every mentally able adult has committed at least one sin (Rom. 3:23), but every sin does not sprout into visible physical or mental suffering while on earth. If it did, every adult would be hobbling around like a prisoner dragging a ball and chain or contestants in a three legged race. Christians who are suffering should get the full benefit of their suffering by identifying any sin in their lives, asking for forgiveness (1 John 1:6-9), and becoming even more dedicated to God (Psalm 119:67, 71). If this is done, the source of our suffering may not have been identified, but our suffering has prompted us to become better Christians.

   Second, I remind myself that it is a biblical doctrine that sometimes physical and mental suffering is a byproduct of sin.  A drunkard may destroy his liver, a fornicator may contract a STD, and a habitual gambler may lose all that he owns. God has set forth the law of “sowing and reaping” and thus it is possible to reap the disadvantages of sin in this life (Gal. 6:7-8). Only you can know if your suffering is a direct result of your sin. Generally speaking, if you have spent your life molding your conscience to reflect the teachings of God and do not think that your suffering is a direct result of sin, it probably isn’t. It is usually very obvious when our sins result in physical and mental suffering, so do not search endlessly to make a direct connection in order to place the “blame” on your shoulders. If you are suffering you have enough weight already. If you go on a crusade to make a connection, it will exhaust you mentally, physically, and spiritually.

   Third, I remind myself that sometimes physical and mental suffering happens by chance (Eccl. 9:11-12). In other words, sometimes we knowingly or unknowingly violate one of God’s natural laws. If you fell and broke your arm, you wouldn’t consider such an accident as a “sign of God’s disapproval.” You would not be determined to identify some sort of sin in your life that God is punishing you for. Instead, you would likely say “oops, the law of gravity got me again.” Well sometimes, prolonged, intense suffering occurs because we violate God’s natural laws. There is nothing more to it.

9 years of marriage and I am still learning

9 years of marriage and I am still learning

   Fourth, I remind myself that what I do during and after suffering is often more important than what may have caused my suffering. If you are suffering as a direct result of sin ask for forgiveness and move forward as a faithful child of God (Phil. 3:13-14). If it is not sin, there are hundreds if not thousands of scenarios that could have led to your suffering. I have frequently wondered about my Multiple Sclerosis, “Is it 100% genetic? Did the Epstien-Barr virus (Mono) trigger my disease? I answer yes to the latter question for the sole purpose of teasing my wife. I didn’t get Mono until I started dating her, just sayin. (What’s that honey, you still don’t think chronic disease jokes are funny? Haha). These types of questions can and will exhaust the mind if sufferers dwell on them continually. The question I finally began to ask myself is, “Why does it matter?” The reality is, what brought on my suffering is mostly insignificant now, perhaps the same is true for you. What is more important is how we respond during and after our battle with mental and physical anguish. In John 9:2 the disciples ask Jesus a question about a man who was born blind, “…Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” and Jesus responded, “…Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (3). The disciples assumed that the man was blind because of his own sin or the sin of his parents. Jesus corrected them and cited a different reason, “but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Roper wrote this:

This does not mean that God caused the man to be born blind so that His Son could later come along and perform a miracle. Rather, Christ was emphasizing that every difficulty has imbedded opportunities: opportunities to express the grace and mercy of God, opportunities to help others, opportunities to demonstrate the strength of faith, opportunities to grow closer to the Father. (55-56, Part 2)

The disciples saw the blind man as a disadvantaged sinner who demonstrated the works of Satan; Christ saw the blind man as an opportunity to demonstrate the works of God. How do you view yourself? Whatever the cause of your suffering, now is the time to use your suffering as an opportunity to demonstrate the good works of your heavenly Father to the best of your ability. Shine your light people! (Matt. 5:16)

   Sufferers, it can be a beneficial exercise to consider what may have brought about your suffering, particularly if it is a direct result of sin. However, you cannot dwell on the cause of suffering forever. If obvious sin is present, ask for forgiveness from God and move on. If your suffering was brought about for some other reason, you should be even more motivated to stop dwelling on the potential causes of your suffering in order to focus on how to use your suffering to the glorification of God. Yet I Trust.

By | 2018-06-21T06:28:59+00:00 October 22nd, 2015|Relationship with God, Relationship with Self|3 Comments

About the Author:

As a child I always dreamed of the day in which I would establish my own blog and share way too much personal information with as many people as possible…well, not exactly. In fact, this whole blogging thing goes against my instincts. However, after getting hit with Multiple Sclerosis in 2014 during my second, located, Christian ministry, I decided to ignore my instincts and created a blog aimed at helping Christians and their loved ones deal effectively with pain and suffering. I hope by providing truthful resources and ways to connect with others in similar situations we will accomplish something great . So join me…let’s do this people!


  1. Avatar
    Bobbie Goodnight October 24, 2015 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Good job Jeff! Excellent points!

  2. Avatar
    Paul H October 25, 2015 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Thanks Jeff. Though we don’t like to admit it these questions have crossed the minds of most of us. It’s good to be reminded of the biblical perspective.

  3. Avatar
    Nancy Dorin October 25, 2015 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    As the mother of a child with addiction life has been hard many times in the past 14 years, but when I was scared or felt out of control, my pledge with God was “keep her alive, and I will go through whatever path you send me.” He has kept his promise and I trust in him to lead me. So much suffering on earth, but he is always there when times are tough. Prayers to you also, Jeff.

Leave A Comment