It’s not (all) about you

I recently visited with a man who had experienced some major challenges in his life.  He was working to overcome some addictions and struggled with the pain he had experienced and re-experienced throughout his life.  He asked me, “Do you think God is testing me?”

This is a difficult question with a complicated answer.  Of course, the problem with this is that I am not God and I cannot assume to know what God thinks.  But I did feel impressed to give him an answer.  I said, “I don’t know exactly, but I do know this: You have gone through some unique challenges in life, and through these challenges you are going through, God is molding you into someone who can uniquely reach out and help others who have experienced the challenges you are experiencing.  You will be able to help others in a way I never could.”

Perhaps I should take my own medicine.  There have definitely been times when I have wondered why I have gone through certain things, wondering or thinking that if I just (quickly) learn whatever lesson God has in store for me, then the trial will end.  Perhaps our own trials are really about how we can use them to help others.


  1. So true. The tendency can often be toward self blame. Sometimes, we go through trials because, through them, in some way, shape or form we will bring good to the life of someone else; or do some sort of something that’s going to have good effects. I think, too often, we resort to self blame for our trials or to blaming others for their trials. We think that in some way we are flawed or broken, and are experiencing this so we can learn how to fix something. It’s not always about what we might have to learn: sometimes it’s about the good we will do.

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