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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Why Me?

Some people ask “Why me Lord? Why is this happening to me? Why does everyone else have healthy parents and mine are so sick? Why am I alone in this world after trusting that man for a dozen years? Why me? Why am I battling this disease? Why was my child taken before even being born? Why me? Why am I struggling so much financially and emotionally? Why was my house damaged by the tornado? Why me? 

Some people ask “Why me, Lord? Why was I allowed this gift of life in your image? Why I am allowed to live this life in a country where I am free to tell others about your grace and fall down and worship you. Why me? Why me? Why am I given more air than I can breathe, more water than I can drink, more food that I can consume and more clothing than I can keep laundered? Why me, Lord? Why was I given people who love me and a house in and/or from which people are loved? Why me, Lord? Why was my sin on the shoulders of the spotless lamb of God? Why me? Why was I among the scoffers instead of on the tree? Why me?  What have I done to deserve the grace of sitting at the table with the family of God? Why me?” 

Jesus never said “Why me?” He knew the reason for his birth in Bethlehem, his childhood in Nazareth, his ministry in Capernaum, and his death outside of Jerusalem.  He knew the scope of the “why”. He knew He was God suffering on a tree. He knew from the foundation of this world (Ephesians 1:4-6). He knew He could come off the cross at any moment. But He did not, because He already knew the answer to the question “Why me?”. 

I was the answer. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Who Hit Whom?

Maybe I shouldn’t have taken that random man on the side of the road to the hospital to see his son who, he languished, “was lying there on his death bed.” Yes, that same man who had just crashed into the back of my husband’s car—the car I was driving—from behind—while I was sitting dead still at a red light. 

That paragraph is pretty mixed up. Mixed up and disoriented is something of how I felt, too,  yesterday, after that red car just plowed into the car I was driving.  I was just sitting there at a red light in Attalla, Alabama, when the screeching of tires directed my glance over to the side rearview mirror just as my body lunged forward and then quickly back again…with force! I got out of that car and realized I had a huge metal hair clip in the back of my head that had been abruptly sandwiched behind my cranium. It was a headache of mammoth proportions. 

I couldn’t see the man in the other car. His airbag was inflated and covering his face. But I soon heard him yell “Someone please take me to the hospital. My son is dying. I have to get to the hospital, now. He’s lying on his deathbed.” He nervously pulled out his cigarettes and paced back and forth up and down the sidewalk, making one call after the other and intermittently begging for a ride to the hospital. But the police had arrived and they informed him that, as the driver of the vehicle, he could, under no circumstances, leave the scene. “Please let me go. My son is dying. Won’t someone please give me a ride?” 

In the meantime, someone WAS trying to give me a ride. It was an ambulance the size of a large fire truck. I’m not sure it wasn’t a fire truck! It was definitely paramedic overkill and I thanked them and signed all the papers refusing the ride to the hospital. All insurance info was put on the reports the officers collected. The wrecker came for the red car.  My sturdier car, though it was a pitiful mess, was still drivable. The incident was over. 

But the man who hit me was still begging for a ride. No one was coming to his aid. All the witnesses had left.  I looked at the police officer and said “You think I should give him a ride?” 

“Well,” she said, “I cannot really tell you what to do about that. Of course you’re free to do that if you want, but you do not have to.” 

“Well, but…” I began. “…you are an officer and you know this area. Do you think this is too risky to do? …I mean…well, If my son was in the hospital dying, I’d want to be there.”

“Well, I would not do it,” the officer replied. “I don’t know this man and your only contact with him is that he hit your car. But again, if your heart is telling you to…”

My heart was telling me to, I guess. But mostly “…whatsoever ye would that men should do to you…” was telling me to. So I said to the man…the big man… “Let me give you a ride to the hospital.”

It wasn’t long before I began to think a little more clearly and realized I might have made a mistake. As we got in the car, he began to speak with family members on speakerphone—loud speakerphone— about the wreck. Family members were using crude language and shouting about his wrecking the car belonging to “Justin, who was dying.” The conversations were unpleasant and I wanted to ask him to hang up, so I could call my husband and tell him about my morning and about my back muscles that were getting tauter and about my neck that was hurting when I turned it.

But then he said it…the sentence I thought I must surely be mishearing. But it was plain as day. He said it to his wife: “This woman who hit me is taking me to the hospital.” 

Seriously??!! I was the woman who “hit HIM”? I know I must have looked at him as if he had three heads, but …SERIOUSLY? 

Since I’d heard this man tell some pretty funny versions, at the site, about how the accident happened, I’d taken precautions to be sure the police knew I was stopped at the light, seatbelt on, and car sitting dead still, when the collision occurred. The police said they had witnesses and they were clear on that. “Whatever he is saying will not fly. We can see what happened here.” 

But still…seriously? He is going to sit right here in my car as I carry him to the hospital and tell his wife that I hit HIM?

To say the least,  it was a long ten miles to the hospital. I was informed about how that his son was in the hospital because he’d been poisoned…daily, for two years. When I asked how that happened, I learned that it was one teaspoon at the time. See, the government of Alabama had refused to allow its children to use the natural medicine, marijuana. They (the government) had supplied the children with bug spray mixed with oregano, instead. The Haitians were bringing it in as part of an ISIS mission and the local government was inviting them (the Haitians) in to work at the Goodyear plant, so they could annihilate the teen population. Emma Sansom and George Washington Carver were the good guys and they were under the ground because the respectable people get no honor in Alabama.  All of this man’s ancestors were decorated military intelligence officers and so was he…only he was now retired. He made me understand that I needed to do some research about the Jade Helm maneuvers and I’d be able to share the information with some other people. In fact, that’s why God had let him hit me today…so that I could learn this important information from him and share it and more people could escape from Alabama, understanding that even the police were welcoming ISIS. Four people on Sand Mountain had already died in the last two months from the poison and his son was probably next. It’s simply an ISIS induced community addiction. But his son would be okay, in the end, because his name had already been written in the family Bible. “I already wrote his name in the book and that’s all that matters.”

Of course, along about this time, I was agreeing with just about everything he said and praying I could put him safely out at the hospital. I’ve rarely been so excited to get to the door of an emergency room. Somehow I felt like this could be more of an emergency, by the time I got there, than my kidney stones had been last time I went the ER! (…And why couldn’t  just a regular, normal person plow into the back of my car?) Sometimes I’d like to be part of events that you could make up, if you were creative. But not this stuff.

I finally did get to call my husband who was in another state preaching yesterday. I got his voicemail and just asked him to call when he had a moment. A moment. That must have been exactly what he had when my phone rang. I could hear congregational singing in the background.

“Hello dear, you ok? I just have a second before I have to get back up to preach.” (Not even a moment…just a second is all I get?)

“Yes. I’m fine. But it’s your car. I got rear-ended.”

“Oh no! But you’re ok? You’re sure?”

“Yes. I’m sore, but ok.”

“And the other driver?”

“He’s okay, too.” 

“I’m so sorry. I love you. Gotta go. Bye!”

Apparently that was the “song-before-the-lesson” that I was hearing. 

Sometimes reality is hard to believe. I do not know if this man’s son was actually inside that ER or not. I do not know, if he was there, whether or not the substance being abused was really bug spray and oregano. I have a pretty good idea that ISIS, although having a presence in our country today, does not have one through Haitians at Goodyear in Attalla, Alabama who are part of Jade Helm maneuvers. I’m pretty sure the part about being a retired military criminal investigator wasn’t spot-on either. And I’m positive the part about the security-of-salvation- because-the-name-is-in-the-Bible isn’t. 

But it got me thinking about the way we view the ones who are our helpers. There I was providing the much-needed transportation for that man who had given me the biggest hit I’d ever taken. I was taking him where he needed to go. I was being quiet so that he could talk to his family. I was praying for him. I was trying to make a way for him to go on with his day rather than standing there alone on that busy street corner. My back was bruised and hurting because of the hit while I was listening to him argue with his family.  And then he said, “This woman, who hit me….” That, at least for a few secconds, made my blood boil. It did not feel good. At all.

Later on in the day, I was talking to someone with whom I’ve been trying to work through some problems that she’s been facing; problems she’s encountered largely because she walked away from God. She was disappointed in how one of her requests was answered. She said this: “OK. God has let me down…again.” She, at least momentarily, forgot. She forgot God was the One Who had picked her up. She forgot He was the One who had been quiet on the cross, so she could walk and talk and live in Him. She forgot that He was the One who was transporting her to heaven for eternity. She forgot he was bruised for her iniquities. She just forgot that she had been found in a place with no hope and that He had given her a chance to go on with her life, rejoicing here and through eternity. She forgot that while she was yet a sinner, Christ died for her (Heb. 5:8). 

Now, in no real or substantial way would I ever compare that little incident in Attalla with the mercy of God and our plight without Him. When she said that, I simply answered. “God did not do this. People are the ones who mess up.” I did, though, think about how I felt when that man said that I had hit him and I wondered how God must feel when we blame Him when things go wrong. We say “He hit me.” The One who brought us from hopelessness, submitting himself to unbelievable suffering and bruising for our iniquities (Is. 53:5). Why, we must seem to God as spiritually crazy and distorted as that poor man in the car with me, when/if we ever begin to blame Him when things go wrong. He’s taking us where we need to go in a far bigger sense than we can even perceive, and all of that, after we bruised Him in a bigger way than we can fathom! And He, unlike me in the imperfect analogy, chose to take the eternal hit!

May we remember the very real and eternal wreck and ruin from which we are able to walk away—from which we are transported— when we may ever think of assigning the blame for pain and sorrow to God. How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation (Heb. 2:3)?!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: You Don’t Have to Know Why.

df939c9928d5eb676a2802dbce31d63fThe study of Job has been, even though I’ve done multiple read-throughs in the past, once again, riveting. I’ve never before studied by marking his questions and I’ve never been so convinced that the most powerful thing with which we walk away is that he never knew the answers to most of them. Job suffered as we likely never will—in intensity and duration; yet he never knew that he was the pawn in an attempt by Satan to trump God. But, in the end, he had to just put his hand over His own mouth and stop talking. He had waded into waters that were too deep for Him. He knew that he had to hush–and let God be God.

Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?I lay my hand on my mouth….Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

Here are the categorizations of verses that we discussed this week on the podcast. I hope they will be one small tool in helping us all realize that we don’t always need to know all the answers. We just need to know the One who does.

  1. The Question of great faith: Job 2:10.
  2. Questions of hopelessness:  Job 3:11-12,16,20-23 and 10:18.
  3. Questions defending his own “right” to complain: Job 6: 5-6,11-13 and 21:4.
  4. Questions for relationship clarification (“You are not my spiritual advisors.”): Job 6:22-23,25-26.
  5. Questions from intense suffering: Job 7:1,4,12.
  6. Questions asserting his own insignificance (Who am I to be the focus of these trials?”):Job 7:17-21 and 10:20.
  7. Questions asserting his inability to “win” in any match with God: Job 9:2,12,14,19,24,29.
  8. Logical questions; reasoning with God: Job 10: 3-10.
  9. Questions rebuking his friends: Job 12:3,9,11; 13:7-11,14,19,23-25; 16:3,6; 19:2,3,22 and 26:1-4.
  10. Questions about the brevity of life: Job 14:3,4,10.
  11. Questions regarding loneliness: Job 17:3,15,16.
  12. Questions about the prosperity of the wicked: Job 21:7,15-18,21-22,28-31,34; 24:1,25; and 27:8-12.
  13. Questions about God’s nature: Job 23:6,13 and 26:14.
  14. Questions about the source of wisdom: Job 28:12,20.
  15. Questions about mockers: Job 30:2,24-25.
  16. Questions about his own innocence: Job 31:1-4,14-15.
  17. Final questions that settle matters: 40:4 and 42:3.