How many of us have asked the question…Why Me? I’ll be the first to say, I most certainly have. I’m not talking about the kind of ‘Why Me?’ question that involves sulking and self pity…no…not that one. The question ‘Why Me?’ is a little different than that. I’m talking about the question that really can pierce one’s heart. The ‘Why Me?’ that asks why was I born in the place that I was born in? The one that asks why now and not later? Or why me and not them?
You see, the question I’ve been asking for a long time, which I couldn’t quite comprehend until today when God miraculously gave me a bit to chew on, has always been why was I born in this country and not in some third world country with nothing but a name and a home on the streets? Why was I one of many that God decided to birth in a country that is blessed, a nation with a lot of potential, the one that is called the Land of Opportunity? Why was I called to be born in the United States of America and not a third world country like the Philippines or Guatemala or Africa where the poverty level is extremely high, where people and children are dieing for lack of food and medicine? Why Me?
As I was driving on the highway on my way to school this morning it suddenly dawned on me that I was not born in this great country by chance. I began to think of how easy it was to lose focus as a Christian. The ambitions and goals we had for ourselves when we were younger don’t seem all that attainable anymore. Somehow we lost the drive we had when we first received Christ or the drive to be great and make an impact in our society and around the world. Somewhere we gave up on going forward and achieving the things that not many people have the pleasure in achieving. We have so many gifts, talents, and skills and we let it go and do nothing with what was given to us, or maybe even what we were created to do. Now the question is ‘Where did the vision go? Where did I fail? Where did I go wrong? What happened to my drive, my passion, my ambition?’ Well I can tell you we won’t figure it out by doing nothing.
I started a journey for myself just as summer 2010 was ending. I decided to rethink my career and go back to school. I’m a Licensed Massage Therapist by profession, but I didn’t have the enjoyment that I once had when I was first licensed. I have been working as an Office Manager at an eye doctor’s office for 5 years and I seem to have more enjoyment from working there than I’ve had anywhere else. So I made up my mind to pursue a career in the eyecare industry. Not only can I work as a professional and enjoy it, but also do more for people and kids and give back to the community. But God had touched my heart in a powerful way to do something with kids and more for missions in regards to eyecare. Of course, to do anything with missions takes a lot of time and finances. The only way to do any of that would be to prepare myself and take the steps necessary to fulfill that vision. I put myself back in school to become an Optician. When I made the decision I just had one vision, one focus in mind and that was to do what God had put on my heart to do, and I was going to do anything to do make it happen. Of course, after you make a decision to do something for the kingdom of God, resistance comes in…distractions, discouragements, and so on. Before I knew it, I was swamped with everything under the sun. My classes were extremely intense and taking four classes made it difficult to maintain the fulltime hours I had at work, studying took up all the time I had. I began to work myself til I was literally sick. I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition many years ago, and after taking treatment for it became a non-functioning thyroid gland. For those who don’t know, the thyroid gland is responsible for many functions in the body, especially functions effecting major organs, the heart being an important part of it. The doctor’s had put me on medication to keep my thyroid levels normal. Well, being as that I was so busy with working 6 days a week and going to school 5 days a week and studying til all hours of the night there was no time for me to think about my health or even remember to take my meds on a daily basis. Of course, I did not refill my prescription for months and finances were extremely tight as it was, I had no way of getting them (I do not have health insurance). My prayer life was hardly there, and reading the Word of God, which was the most important thing, was not happening. I just became consumed with my work and school and just like that I lost my focus on what it was that I originally set out to do. Not taking my meds had some serious effects on my body. I couldn’t function right, I wasn’t sleeping because of all the studying and I began to feel weak, sick, and tired. Half the time I wasn’t even myself, I felt like I was a body and that was it. I was so tired that my heart literally felt like it wanted to give up and stop. Little did I know that was the effects of not taking my meds. I had a constant sore throat and I was losing my voice for no reason at all. It was like that for months until one day something was put on my heart to get a blood test immediately. I haven’t checked my thyroid levels in years, and I’m supposed to check them every 6 months, but of course, no insurance it’s hard to get anywhere. I tried fighting the urge because I figured it was just another bill that I did not need, but it was such a strong urge that I couldn’t fight it anymore. I finally ended up going to the emergency room because it was 11:00 at night. They took some blood tests and sent me home. I finally got a call from my general physician and he told me I needed to see him right away, it was urgent and serious. When I saw him, he was very upset because I had not taken my meds. He said my thyroid levels were so dangerously high that I could collapse at any moment at any given time, it would cause a heart block and my heart would fail me….it would just simply get so slow that it would stop beating. At that moment I had a quick dose of reality. It hit me that I was so consumed that I allowed myself to get so far off track, with not just my health but my relationship with God. I didn’t know what would happen to me and he said that even after I start back up on the meds it would still take my body a couple of months for the medication to kick into my system. I was on constant alert after that. Knowing that the medication wouldn’t kick in for awhile was scary because at any given time my heart could just give up. And that’s what it felt like it wanted to do. It was just so tired, I was worried about everything. My dad lost his job, he had major surgery on his arm and I was the only one in a household of 5 working. It was a lot, especially going to school and trying to make things work. I finally took a few days off of school and work to rest and I really laid hold of God. And He must have restored me than because it felt that the medication started to take effect sooner. My body felt renewed and refreshed. Things started to look up from that point on.
The reason I mentioned all that is because this is a testimony to how God works and how good He is. I did a little research on what it meant to have dangerously high thyroid levels and the number that doctor gave me and the number it should have been was serious. I could have easily slipped into what they call a myxedema coma, because of those levels, I could have slipped into heart failure, liver damage, kidney failure….there were so many things and God being the God that He is kept me safe from that. Even in the time that I had forgotten about Him, He never forgot about me. And I know that there is a reason why I’m still here today. God spoke to me strongly this morning when I asked that question ‘Why Me?’ through His Word…Phil. 1:6-“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” As soon as that word was spoken I knew ‘Why Me?’ or why anyone. It was so clear and plain as day. You see, God has a plan and purpose for every single person living in this country, but it’s up to them to take what God has and utilize it. No one can hinder us except ourselves, when we get in our own way or we get in the way of what God wants to do. Every single person has the potential to be the best and to do the best and make an impact anywhere we go. God has given us the skill, the talent, certain gifts. We were born in this country because we have the ability to do something about the situations that many who are poor face. We as Americans have the opportunity to make more money than what people in third world countries make, and we have the ability to be a blessing to those people. God didn’t create me because it was a fun thing to do or because He had nothing else better to do. He created all of us with one vision and focus in mind, equipping us for the work of the kingdom. John 4:35- “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”
The answer for ‘Why Me?’ is in scripture. Jesus left something great for us to hold and grasp. That is the Word of God. Matthew 20:16 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” I like to say that many are called but few HAVE chosen. We were all called to do something, that’s why we were born in this nation, because God gave us gift, a potential to do more and take care of the poor and the children. But it is up to us to choose the path God wants us to go in. The only thing is, we have to do it willfully. He won’t make us or do it for us. Many are called out by God, but how many of us really choose to answer to that calling. God has equipped us with everything you can think of, and He is on our side so that we can’t fail. We have many gifts, but how many of us choose to do something with it. It wasn’t meant to be wasted. We sit and decide what we want to do with our lives and we never ask what God wants us to do. After all, He breathed His life into us. I had to refocus myself and my vision with what I was going to school for. I lost focus on that and I needed God to get me back on the right track. I had to stop and think and remember why I decided to go back to school and what I was doing it for. This morning as I was driving to school and pondering that question ‘Why Me?’ God brought me to a place to understand ‘Why Me?’ I recalled the story of Esther. Queen Vashti, which means “wasted gift” disobeyed the King’s command to join him at the banquet. She refused to go to him, and for her own reasons. She was beautiful and had so much potential to do more as a queen. Because of her disobedience to a calling… she was put away, she could never be in the presence of the king ever again. The story behind Vashti is a sad one, but Esther, whose name means “hidden star”, had a bigger calling on her life than she could ever think to imagine. She was the one who responded to that calling and bravely stood before the king for her people. She didn’t back down of her potential and she took it all the way to the throne, for the kingdom. She was truly a star, no longer hidden.
I do not want to be that wasted gift. Someone full of all the potential in the world, so much talent and ability and be a wasted gift. But as it is in my name as well, I want to be that Star that responds to the will and calling of God and make an impact. Wouldn’t you?