Why me?

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“Why does it have to be me, Lord?” Have you ever wondered this?  I know I have.  Growing up, I had a thing called Tourette Syndrome. Now, back then we really didn’t have a name for it, I just knew that there were things I had to do or I would go crazy. For those who don’t know much about Tourette Syndrome, it is a person who has tics that are either physical or verbal that their brain is telling them they have to do. Imagine trying to hold in a sneeze, that is how it is for a person with Tourettes, except the urge doesn’t go away.  For me, it was physical. I was always constantly having to touch areas of my body and it varied.  I then was constantly having to tighten my neck muscles.  Now add to this that I was a scrawny kid who stuttered, I got picked on a lot.  Many nights I laid in bed asking God “Why me? Why can’t I just be like everybody else?”
Ever been there?  I have seen this with my own daughter. She has Tourette’s, as well as my niece and my uncle. My daughter has got picked on at her school frequently by other kids (you know who you are and so do I….Grrrrrr.)  Many nights she has asked the same question I had asked myself when I was her age, “Why me? Why do I have to go through this?”  
It is a tough question. And when I was her age, I had no answer.  I eventually came to a point where I accepted that this was who I was and I had to deal with it.  But how I viewed what I was going through changed one day when in a bible study, my chaplain read a verse that I never connected to my situation.  He opened up his bible to 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 which says, “ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”  He then said that if you are going through difficulty or trial, instead of saying, “Why me?” and playing the victim, ask how God can use your trial to glorify Him and bring comfort to others.   I had never thought of God using my Tourettes for His glory or to help others.   
Fast forward to the present day. My Tourettes tics are all but gone, though they still pop up from time to time.  
Yet, in my ministry I have come across numerous people who have also been going through Tourettes and I have been able to sit and talk with them and help them out. Recently, I gave a talk at the baccalaureate service at Williamstown High School and I mentioned in the message that I had Tourettes and after the service, a man and his son came and spoke to me about how much the message meant to them.  Why?  It was because they both had Tourettes. I can now look back on my life and I admit it was difficult going through what I went through, but if I had not gone through what I did, I wouldn’t have been able to reach a good number of people with what they are going through in their life.
So here is the point I am trying to make: if you are enduring some difficult thing in life, ask how God could use that situation to help others and to bring Him glory.  
We have a woman in our church that lost her husband and she is now beginning a grieving ministry to help others who have also experienced a loss. No matter what you are enduring, first allow God to comfort you and help you through it, then use it as a way to help others and glorify Him.  There is someone out there who is going through what you went through and who needs your help.  
 (Barry Robinson is the pastor of Williamstown United Methodist Church. He can be reached at brobinson@williamstownumc.com or call 859-823-5171.)