Updated: Oct 13, 2020
Dr. Ashley D. Anderson
If there’s one thing we can be certain of during our time on this earth, it’s that trials will come. Whether they are trials that manifest because of our own decisions, or because of the decisions of those around us, we have to face them. Thus far, I’ve been through many troubling seasons in my life. I've endured seasons of want, seasons of hurt and devastation, seasons of wait, and seasons of turmoil and confusion. No matter how I entered these seasons, I often found myself looking up to the heavens asking God, “Why me?” I can remember asking what I’d done to deserve XYZ. Was it punishment? Was I just unlucky? I had questions for God for days and none of them were the questions I should have been asking.
It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I watched friends have to unexpectedly bury their child, that my perspective completely shifted. While each of us sat at the funeral in total devastation for their loss, they stood before us praising God for the opportunity to know, love, and learn from their child. I was floored. Here I was thinking: Why them? Why did this happen? This just wasn't fair. But in front of us, the parents of this child stood there praising God to share their testimony to help other families. Wow!
In that moment, I realized I needed to shift my mindset as well as the questions that I asked God in my most difficult moments.
It’s easy in the midst of trials and tribulations to internalize what’s going on around you and make it all about you. It’s easy to sulk and throw yourself a pity party. What’s hard and reveals the maturity of your faith walk is trying to seek God‘s purpose in the trial. Instead of asking, “Why me, God?” We should instead ask him, “What is it that I should be doing with this trial?” Ask, “Lord, what are you calling me to do with this testimony?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should be devoid of emotion and expect yourself never to feel unhappy or wonder what God is doing. Feel what you need to feel, but instead of allowing yourself to enter a season of shame, self-pity, and discord, sit still and engage upward for the lesson. Ask God to help you create a testimony from the situation and to coax your spirit when it’s time to share.
The power to change someone’s world exists inside of every trial. Will you ask God what that is and use it to uplift the kingdom? Change your questions, and you can change your world!