Why did God do this to me?

Here’s a question from a reader – an engineer.  (We’ll call him Bill)

I’m at a job that I hate mainly because I feel like every day I’m set up to fail. There’s no job satisfaction. I go to work and try my best but the bosses and organization demand excellence in everything that we do. That is a good goal to have but there’s no way to accomplish all that needs to be and do it perfectly. ………So why would God place me in a situation like that for 8yrs??

Success

Bill, be very careful about asking “why God put you in this place?” I certainly believe God is omnipotent – but I don’t think He micromanages the little details in our lives. I think our own decisions lead us to where we are. But that’s hopeful, because you can make new decisions that put you in a different place. Don’t wait for supernatural movement — just start by seeing what you can do to move yourself in a new direction in the next 30-60 days.

When I found myself at the negative end of a business deal a few years ago with $430,000 owed to creditors I’m sure I could have asked, Why did God do this to me?  But instead I looked back at the series of decisions I had made that put me in that position.  Yes, in reading Proverbs each day I was amazed to see the biblical principles I had violated in getting me to that unfortunate crisis.  God had not done that to me.  I simply made decisions that resulted in that end result.  And I very quickly made decisions to walk out of that horrible experience. 

Sometimes we assume that our current situation reflects random, individual, disconnected events.  But seldom is that true.  Rather, we are where we are because each decision we make is a step in a particular direction.  And over time that direction determines our position in our work, our finances, our health, our relationships and our spiritual well-being.  If you think God did this to you, then it justifies doing nothing until God changes your situation.  And in doing nothing I see people open the door to blaming, resentment, anger, guilt and depression.  I think God deserves better from us.

You can look back and see how the path you have been following has gotten you to where you are.  If you don’t like the direction it is taking you, what are you willing to do to put yourself on a different path?

Watch the three short videos here where I talk about what it takes to put yourself on a more positive path.

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  • Oh gosh Dan, it is really amazing to have the gift of perspective when it comes to awful times in our lives. While it is so tempting to blame, found that asking what can I learn from this has lead to so much more amazing things in the future than having not gone through those difficult times. I love your story and reminder that the gift of perspective is indeed very powerful. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kathryn Lehan

    Our choices absolutely determine where we end up. Years ago I took a job where the company founder expected “perfection” from everyone so he micromanaged everyone constantly. It was so bad that I had difficulty getting any work done. It wasn’t my inability to do the work, it was from the constantly changing priorities and time wasting interruptions from this man’s mircomanaging me that sucked up the whole day. I was very unhappy and ready to leave after the first week. I asked God to forgive me for taking the job without consulting Him first, and then God (in his mercy) arranged for me to get laid off 4 months later. It meant I was eligible for unemployment benefits and I didn’t have to pay back my relocation package. I was soon praising God when I got my first consulting client. Maybe “Bill” needs to repent for blaming God for his situation, and ask God to straighten out the mess he made by his own choices.

  • adam garey

    if you ask why did God is that because you have been talking with Him and you are close to Him maybe more than you had been and suddenly you feel slighted? Honest question as a better stance with Him is important too. I sure have felt that way. No sign of promotion or appreciation and feeling taken for granted is what I went through. Personally I started thinking He was showing me I was called to be flexible and patient strengthening my character while pruning me to handle another position up the road. For me I could only do that If I trusted Him; not looking at my “poor lot”. I can operate with a clear mind set knowing I will get through it. Take care.

  • Jevonnah Ellison

    I’m a firm believer that our trials come to make us stronger, but we have to be intentional about letting them make us stronger.. I’m convinced that when we we look for the good, we’ll find more of it. Conversely, if we look at and focus on the bad, we’ll find that too. Instead of asking “why me?” ask “what does this make possible?” Thanks for another excellent post, Dan.

  • Dan, I like your perspective but I would like to add that “If God brings us to it, he will bring us through it”. I have learned now to step back with eyes wide open, and try to figure out what He is trying to teach me in moments like that… There is always something to be learned from this.
    Great post, thank you.

  • Ron Hill

    Our trials are like sandpaper. An 80 grit trial is pretty painful, but without it we’ll never get to the polishing steps, e.g. 2000 grit! When I do things my way and blame God or others for the outcome, it’s back to 80, 100 or 120 grit depending on how much needs to come off.