Summary: A consideration of the dangers of asking, "Why me?," and a presentation of how our focus should instead be on the fact that God is in control.
Title: WHY ME?
Text: Rom 8:28
Date Preached: March 6, 2011
COPYRIGHT © JOE LA RUE, 2011. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
A. As most of you know, I’ve got a broken ankle. Let me briefly share with you how this happened.
It was about 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb 10, and I was driving north on Seventh Street in Terre Haute. Seventh is a four lane road running north to south all the way through Terre Haute. Anyway, someone in the left turn lane turned directly in front of me, leaving no chance for me to avoid her. I hit her in the very front of the passenger side of her car.
The entire front of my little Toyota was instantly crushed; and, because I was pressing on the brake, my ankle was instantly crushed, too. My airbags deployed, and thankfully I had my seatbelt on.
I spent all day Thursday in the emergency room in the hospital in Terre Haute, waiting to see a doctor. Finally, at 4:30 the doctor looked at my X-ray and said, “We can’t treat this here. You need to get to a major hospital.” My ankle was broken in a very bad way. First, the fibula—that’s the smaller of the two bones running from the knee to the ankle—had snapped a few inches above my ankle, and the bone was pushing against the skin. The injury that the doctor was most worried about, though, was the break in the ankle joint itself. He told me that it was compressed in upon itself, and it would take a specialist to fix it.
So they loaded me into an ambulance and took me to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. A group of orthopedic surgeons, called Indy Ortho, practices there. These are the surgeons that NASCAR drivers use when they’re injured. I arrived at Methodist at about 7:30, and they had to do a bunch of new X-rays before the doctor finally saw me at about 10 p.m. He was very concerned. He said that the fibula had been pressing against my skin long enough now that there was a risk that the skin would die. He said that he needed to operate immediately and get the injury stabilized, and then he’d operate again to fix the bones after the swelling went down.
So I had the first of my two operations that night. Thankfully, the skin was alright. I had the second operation six days later. The doctor inserted a bunch of pins, screws, and metal plates to hold the bones where they need to be. All told, I was in the hospital for two weeks, from February 10 until February 23, which is quite a long time. And the doctor says that I cannot put any weight at all on my ankle for at least three months, and maybe as long as five months.
B. Obviously, this was not part of my plan: I would have preferred to have not broken my ankle, and to not be bedridden for three to five months. And when things don’t go as we’d like, and when undesirable things happen, there’s a question we sometimes ask: “Why me?” Have you ever asked that question?
“Why me? Why did I get sick? Why did I get laid off from work? Why did I have this relationship problem, or go through this divorce? Why do I have to be alone? Why do I have to have money problems? Why do I have to go through this? Why did this have to happen to me?”
And of course, there’s a variation to the ‘why me?’ question, and that’s, “why him?” or “why her?” This is the question we ask about the ones we love.
“God, why does she have to be sick? Why does he have to go through this? Why her? Why him?”
C. Have you ever asked one of those questions? Most of us have. That’s why it’s important that we understand how the devil uses those questions to deceive us, and depress us, and draw us away from God. And what we need to realize is, even though sometimes unpleasant things happen to us, God is still in control, and He is working all things together for good!
F. Trans: But first, let’s consider how the devil uses the “why me?” question to deceive us, depress us, and draw us away from God. If you have your Bibles, open with me to the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, chapter 20.
I. THE DEVIL USES THE "WHY ME?" QUESTION TO DECEIVE US, DEPRESS US, AND DRAW US AWAY FROM GOD.
A. Jeremiah was a prophet, specially chosen by God to speak God’s Word to the people of Judah. And Jeremiah fulfilled his mission. He stood fearlessly before the people and kings of Judah and proclaimed that God was going to come in judgment against them if they did not repent of their wickedness and return to Him.