Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why me?

This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, 'Hey you. Can you help me out?' The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, 'Father, I'm down in this hole can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

Then a friend walks by, 'Hey, Joe, it's me can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here.' The friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out.'

If that sounded profound to you, then it's probably because I stole it from The West Wing. (Episode 32 I believe.)

I have a friend who has a problem, and I don't think she knows it yet. She is going through something that I don't think she fully understands or accepts, and it is hard. I know, because I went through the same thing myself. I have been in the hole that she is in, and I feel like I'm the only one around her who can see it, or knows what she needs to do. Because when I was in the hole many years ago, I had someone else jump in with me. Now I need to do the same thing.

And it's scary. Seriously scary!

Because once I talk to her about it, she will become one of only about three people in the world who know this thing about me, and I have spent years keeping it that way.

When I first had this problem, and went into the hole for the first time, I was very upset. Especially with God. It led to our first real argument. I asked him "Why me?" and he answered me for the first time. I felt an almost audible voice say "Otherwise how will you help others?"

Don't you hate it when He answers a question with a question?

But He was right of course. Going through it made me into the person I am today, and has shaped a lot of my personality and attitude. It has given me a different perspective on things from many others, which has occasionally been of use. And it also means that I have been able to relate to certain people in a way that others might not be able to. (Sorry to be so vague, but it is hard enough telling you this as it is.)

Who better to walk with a drug addict than a recovering addict? How do you walk with someone who has lost a child if you have never known loss, or talk about being strong if you have never know temptation?

Who better to get into a hole with you than someone who has been there before.

After all, isn't that what Jesus did for us? Or more importantly, what he does for us each day. He jumps into the hole with us, and says, "I've been in this one before, let's see what we can do about this."

You may have noticed that I am a big fan of Finding Nemo. I think that movie is awesome, and has so many biblical truths hidden in it. Here's one now:

******mild spoiler alert*******

Near the end of the movie, the dentist tries to take Nemo out of the fish tank with a net. All the other fish jump into the net, and swim down, thereby pulling the net out of his hand, and freeing Nemo.

Later, Nemo's friend Dori gets trapped in a tuna-net with a school of tuna. Nemo knows how to rescue them, but there is no time to explain it to them, and they are too panicked to listen. So he swims into the net with them, and shows them how to swim down. As a result, the net breaks, and they are all free. Nemo could only help them because he had been in a net before, and had overcome it (with some help from his friends) so he was the only one of them able to see how they could get out of this net. So he swam in, and showed them the way.

********end spoiler***********

Jesus has been in the net before, and he escaped. He has seen the hole from the inside, and knows ever corner. So he is able to help us out.

In the same way, we need to be there for those who are going through tough times, and climb into the hole with them. So when trouble strikes, don't ask. "Why me?" rather ask "What can I do with this?"


  1. SB -

    First of all, what a jerk you are for spoiling that movie for me!

    No, actually - I never thought about the whole net in the dentist office/tuna boat net analogy. That's incredible. I'm guessing you've seen the movie a couple more times than me, even though I've seen it plenty.

    I often wonder how people who never strayed awayed from God ever truly understand what it means to be broken in a very tangible way. I've been smashed with a hammer, and I really try to use that for His glory.

    And since you're a twitter snob, I'm going to tweet this post for you, because I'm nice like that...

  2. very nice! Thanks to Katdish for the twitter link.

    This is certainly true.

  3. Hey Sharkbait...I found your blog because Katdish Tweeted it. I'm just sayin...

    Your post was beautiful! I love the "hole analogy". May I steal it?

    I've been in a hole and I asked (read: demanded) an answer as to why from God. He told me the same thing He told you by leading me to Scripture where Jesus allows Peter to be sifted by satan. Jesus tells him Peter, "...and when you turn back, strengthen your brothers." I took my time in the hole, and turned that pain into action and God gave me a wonderful ministry of climbing back into holes with others as a result.

    Thanks for sharing your heart. I'm passing this along to others so they can come by and say hi.

    PS--I will pray for your friend and for your sustaining as you prepare to crawl back into the hole for her.

  4. Thanks for the tweet Katdish.


  5. Read through a couple of your posts and I gather you are from South Africa?

    If so, how are the Parktown Prawns this year?

    And, I really enjoyed this post. Great analogy.

  6. i LOVED this post! and am so glad it was linked to from my blog today.

    i asked God, "why me?" once too. He responded with "Why not?"

    and for the same reasons you else can i reach someone in their time of need if i havent gone through it too. that is NOT to say those who cant personally relate cant help - but there is something deeper about being "there", or having been there yourself. it establishes a trust and instant connection.

    praying for you...

    thank you for such a well written post.

  7. I really can't add a thing here.

  8. Wow, this is SO good.

    We all must spend some time in the valley, if only to discover that there is an exit along with the entrance. The more sorrow carves into our hearts, the more joy we can hold.

    I could sense the courage it took to write this. That tells me a lot about you.

  9. @tonyyork. As weird as this may sound to those who don't know what you are talking about, I live on the coast, and therefore do not have to worry about Parktown Prawns. (Just the real ones)

    Thanks everyone for the comments.


  10. Okay- this has nothing to do with this beautiful post, but according to the comments you left today on my photo caption contest, I've decided you are one MESSED UP FISH!
    You had me in tears!

  11. Yeah everyone. If this post is too heavy for you, go over to Sherri's blog and look at a picture of a bull standing on its head.

    No seriously, go now.

    (And vote for Sharkbait while you're there.)

  12. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You are the first 3-Peat winner of the SIlly Saturday Photo Caption COntest!!!!

    Please come make your acceptance speech!

  13. SB, great post. Very profound indeed. I'm becoming more convinced that God leads us in difficult paths to give us some 'street cred' with others. He will bless you as you bless others.

  14. Hi Sharkbait,

    The writer to the Hebrews in chapter 4:14 kind of sums up the book. He writes, “14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”

    The next verse is the one I thought that was relevant to your post, “15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as {we are, yet} without sin.”

    The result is amazing! “16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

    It seems that the God of all things saw it fit to jump into the hole and He knows the way out!

    In Christ,


    (PS Now I understand your Facebook posts and I take back mine. *Duh*)

  15. Great job, Sharkie! You don't mind if I call you that, do you?

  16. Saw your comment on comments over at Sherri's and popped in to read this.

    Very nicely written. I'm glad you decided to post it.

  17. Hey Sharkbait! I enjoyed that analogy!

  18. Really nice perspective here.
    It hit home---I went through something similar to something my friend is now going through. And I feel that the only way I can show her to jump down in that hole with her.

  19. I'm reading this from Mandy's post today... and my take on what you've written (well done post, btw) about Why Me? And having God talk about 'To help someone else...'

    My response to that is, "It had better F*ing well be...." I'm not usually that coarse, but I'm hurting too bad right now... and I hope that he does get something out of all my pain. He'd F*king better.... coz this hurts too much....

  20. Thanks for pointing me to this post & obviously for sharing the backstory with me. Reading this has made me look at so many things that have shaped my life in a whole new light.



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