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Friday, March 2, 2007

If Me

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10


One Sunday evening few years ago I was bustling around at church putting away all of my supplies after I had finished directing my weekly children's choir. My sweet husband stopped me in the hall to share some news with me. Moments earlier he had been approached by our children's pastor and one of our elders who had asked him to pray about heading up our church's Awana ministry. The current coordinator was moving into another position of service in the church, so they had been praying that God would lead them to the right person to take his place in Awana. They felt that that person was my husband. Our club has an attendance of around 450 kids weekly and involves around 140 volunteers, so this is no small responsibility! I can still remember his stunned expression as he recounted the conversation he had just had with the two men.

This would have been the time for me to say something wise. This would've been the time for me to clasp his hands in mine and suggest that we immediately go to the Lord in prayer. This would've been a great time for me to say something that reflected the genuine confidence I have in him as a leader and a man of God. This would've been the time for me to say anything… except what I actually said:

"Why you???"

Yes, it came out in the same lovely tone you might have imagined as you read it. Nice, huh?

You see, I was projecting my own insecurities onto him. I was overwhelmed on his behalf, thinking of others who had been involved in this ministry for two and three times as many years as he had. Wouldn't one of them be a more logical choice? Besides, the previous person who coordinated it (for nine years!) had his wife working alongside him. So, I was overwhelmed on my behalf as well, as this would surely involve me. I was a choir director. I knew nothing about Awana. Surely there was someone else!

I'll never forget his answer. No doubt emboldened by his wife's [cough] unwavering support, he said, "Well, the question at this point is not why me. That was their job, and they've prayed about it. My job is to pray and figure out if me." (I always knew I married "Mr. Right." He usually is.) After much prayer, the question of "If me" was answered with "Yes, us" and we are so blessed to be in our fourth year volunteering in ministry together.

A couple of weeks ago when Darlene emailed asking me if I would like to be a contributor to this blog, a fresh wave of "Why me??" washed all over me. There are many blogs I read each week, containing words so much more well-crafted than mine, with thoughts so much more coherent than mine. But that wasn't the issue. The "why me" was Darlene's (and God's!) job. My job was answering the question of "if me."

Moses, his face still glowing in the light of the burning bush, suffered from a major case of the "why me's." Sign-seeking, fleece-wringing Gideon asked the question, too, in so many words. There are many other Biblical "why me" examples. The fact that it is so common in scripture suggests that God knew we, too, would struggle with our own inadequacy. We are presented with opportunities in which we cannot imagine God using us. Surely there must be someone more qualified! Oh, to be like Mary who bypassed the "Why me?" and went straight to "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38)

I believe that focusing on "Why me?" can start us on one of two paths: fear/insecurity ("I can’t possibly, I don’t have the skills," "Who am I?...I have never been eloquent." Exodus 3:11, 4:10) or pride ("Well, I am pretty good in this area…," "I’m a NATURAL choice for this!" "Of course they asked me!" :::hairtoss:::) The "why me?" paths lead to the same place: self.

The "if me" question puts the focus where it should be: on God. "Will I need to completely depend on God if I do this?" "Will God be glorified by my participation in this activity?" "In what areas will I need to die to self?" "Will this opportunity allow His strength to be made perfect in my weakness?" "Is this in Your timing, Lord?" The "if me" path should lead us straight to our knees.

Are you praying through a "why me" today, perhaps feeling your own inadequacy for a potential involvement or an upcoming task? Don't worry, you're in good company! But let God handle the "why’s." He’s the source of all your gifts, and He knows what He's doing! The question of "why" can be answered with His sufficiency. As for the "ifs", dear sister, they will become clearer as you seek Him to direct your walk, one step at a time, for His glory.

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
2 Corinthians 9:8


Have a blessed weekend!

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13 Comments:

Blogger Sista Cala said...

Instead of 'why me' we should simply think, why not me?

March 3, 2007 at 2:36 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Did you read my mind this week and write this just for me? Because my goodness, I needed to read this!! Awesome job in writing, but more importantly you hit my heart. This is one God is going to have me "chew" on today, I know it.

Blessings.

March 3, 2007 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Cyndi! This post is awesome! The 2 responses to "Why me?" that your wrote about are flip sides of the same coin and I have experienced both of them. Thanks for the wonderful illustration from your life with your husband in ministry. This is such a perfect way to start the weekend!

March 3, 2007 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

This post is full of insight and wisdom! Thank you for sharing so personally and allowing God to minister "through you weakness" and doubt. Fear can be so crippling--thank you for the reminder that He is faithful to equip the called!

March 3, 2007 at 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Lynn Donovan said...

Cyndi,

The "if me" path should lead us straight to our knees.

Amen Sister. BTW, So glad you are here. I am so glad you answeres, "yes me."
:)

March 3, 2007 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Cyndi, that was so great. I'm sure it spoke to all of us in some way. We can ask "why me?" in a positive way, but then there's those days we ask it in a negative way too, like "why am I the one cleaning this mess?" In any case we need to take it to the Lord with the "if me..." question on our lips. Thank you!

March 3, 2007 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Elise said...

This is a perfect post for me. I do that - project MY insecurities on my husband, when in actuality, he will be doing the brunt of the work.
I think you craft the written word very well, my friend. Thank you for saying these things. I will be thinking of this often - answering the question of "if me", rather than "why me?"

March 3, 2007 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

You are a sweet blessing.

March 3, 2007 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

The theme of my year? Let 'I AM' replace all my 'am nots'. It's not as easy as it sounds, but there is Canaan waiting for us when we let go...Beautiful words, Cyndi!

Lisa

p.s. I also have the whole W.I.E.R.D disease...haha...loved that post!

March 3, 2007 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

Cyndi, thank you for your words. I needed to hear them this morning...

Blessings to you and yours.

March 4, 2007 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Terri @ In His Hands said...

Cyndi, if you only knew how your post speaks to me at this very moment!

March 4, 2007 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

I deal with both sides of the coin regularly, and I think you hit a real connection point there for a lot of people. Good food for thought and prayer!

March 4, 2007 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Cyndi,
This was an excellent post my friend! I have several places in my life that I am asking "Why Me?" and the thought "If Me" takes the focus off of me and on HIM!

March 5, 2007 at 12:02 AM  

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