“What Did I Do to Deserve This?”

In tragedy, one question tends to haunt us: What did I do to deserve this? It’s irrational: We know we didn’t do anything bad, wrong, or sinful, but we still ask ourselves that question. If we gave birth to a child with a disability, we may ask it. If we’ve felt a tornado’s wrath, we may ask it. If we experienced a nightmare of a day, a week, or a year, we may ask it.

Maybe if I blame myself, I can tolerate the disaster experience easier than if I just believe in random events, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or God chose not to rescue me.

Job never felt that way–or did he? Throughout his speeches, his argument centers on his innocence. For the series of disasters to make sense, God needs to face him and bring a charge of sin. Job, then, can respond. Or Job will mount a defense, and God can respond. The central assumption against which Job fights: he suffers for his sin.

If you’ve been through some tragic circumstance, perhaps you blame yourself. You needn’t. You need all your emotional energy to deal with your crisis in a healthy way. Because God created a world precarious at times, focus on the only source of true stability: Him.


About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy (gordongrose.com) blog to learn more. TragedyTransformed.com provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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