Blessings are the spiritual equivalent of breathing in, and prayer is the spiritual equivalent of breathing out.
- Monsignor Tom Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman
Last night I was at a dinner where someone commented, “Part of the reason we ask, ‘Why me?’ is that we forget that evil existed in the world before we arrived.”
It was an interesting observation. It’s true that in ancient Egypt, classical Rome, medieval Japan, the Western frontier and even today, the norm is (and has been) that life involves some share of hardship and suffering.
For me, the root of the “Why me?” problem is that I somehow conclude that–because I love and serve God–I should be exempt from woe. It’s a weird logic, one that doesn’t map well with experience... or Scripture.
Evil exists. We ask God to deliver us from it, both in the sense of protection and because we know that when we encounter evil we need his help to overcome it. Perhaps we should reserve “Why me?” for considering the grace he extends to us, undeserved and unearned, that helps us through the difficulties we encounter.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.