Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler

"Why Not Me?"

November 15, 2023 Tammy Toney-Butler Season 1 Episode 11
Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler
"Why Not Me?"
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Show Notes Transcript

As Christ followers, we often face adversity in childhood, adulthood, or both. We call out to God to save us and wonder where He was. We ask, "Why me, Lord?" Calling out to a Savior to save us,  redeem us from bondage, yet see no deliverance.

Where was He when my child died? My spouse got cancer? When I was raped, beaten? Where was this God you speak of, for my experience was one of waiting on a Savior who was not responding to my calls for help?

We all have moments when we ask, "Why me?"

 We find hope if we change our perspective by looking at those who were called to suffer for their faith, as evidenced by Hebrews 11.

Our perspective changes when we realize we were born into an evil, fallen world with parents making choices out of survival mode with foundations rooted in trauma. They were making choices that put us in situations where evil came to our door, into our homes, into our existence—repeating the behaviors of generations past.

Suffering is a part of the Christian walk; Jesus suffered for all of us. I am grateful I was not killed or did not kill anyone else when I was being victimized. I am glad I never lost my faith, was never entirely broken in spirit, and survived to show others the way to the Cross, Christ, and Freedom. I changed my perspective to "Why not me?" [Life Application Study Bible NIV].

Early Christians had to suffer, even die, for their faith, refusing to bow to an oppressor and renounce their faith in Christ.  Our walk as a Christian will not be easy, but I can assure you that if you change your perspective, as I had to do, you will see the light in the darkness of the past. A glimmer of hope, shining forth through the raging storm you faced then or facing now. 

Let this episode shine a ray of hope into your sea of darkness. 

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Hello, this is Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler. I'm your host, but we all know who the real host of this show is; in this time that we have together, this time that we process the dark and walk in the Light, where we reflect on the past and let it guide us towards the hope of the future.

We are merely His vessels set apart for Kingdom use. To be used for the Glory of God, for His will to be done in and through us. That's why we are here to celebrate Him, to exalt Him, to glorify Him, to walk with Him, to be obedient through faith, that total surrender.

As we saw in the Saints and individuals in Hebrews 11

A true book of faith, a true example of God working in and through us to strengthen us through trials and times of adversity. 

Many have asked me, where is God? Why did I suffer so much?

Why did I have to go through that as a child? Why did you go through that as a child? Where is He? Where was He when my spouse died? Where was He when my child died?

Where is this God you speak of that you worship, that you glorify, that you exalt
because I've only experienced trials in my walk as a Christian, in my faith walk.
I've been obedient, I've served, I've done as He's asked. But yet, I haven't seen the promise; I haven't seen the promises manifest in my life. That's what so many have said.
Why me? Why me? Why me? 

Christ is saying, why not me? Why not me? Why not me? 

I realized that I had to endure all that pain and suffering of my childhood so that I could understand another's walk, another's yoke with the darkness, another's trial, so that I would not be judgmental so that I'd show mercy and grace in their time of need, as Christ showed to me over and over again.

Every time I called out, He was there. I couldn't see it. It didn't look like what I thought it should look like. 

As Christians, often, the walk does not look like what we think. We think that there's never going to be suffering again. No heartache, only peace and joy. But you see, you have to choose faith. You have to endure the trial.

You have to walk in it. It's your perspective. 

Change your perspective, change your perspective, 

change your perspective.

What is He calling you to do in this season of your life? Where is He asking you to go? Have you refused? Have you chosen that comfortable path as opposed to the uncomfortable one? The one that takes faith for you to step out and do as He's called you to, walk in the light, say no to the darkness, and choose that righteous path.

He is waiting. He is waiting on us like He was waiting on the woman at the well.

He was waiting, He was waiting.

He was in the boat when the disciples were in trouble. He was asleep in a storm. 

He was sleeping because He knew nothing would stop Him from fulfilling His Kingdom purpose and mission for God, the Father.

He knew He was protected and tucked under the Wing of God Almighty. As we are protected today, there is no fear in perfect love. There's no reason for us to doubt. He will carry us through any storm. He will carry us through any circumstance. Any time of drought, financial or otherwise, famine, plagues, it doesn't matter. Christ has us, and He will see us through.

He died on the Cross so we could be set free. So we do not have to carry the burden of sin, for the wages of sin are death. 

We do not have to carry the weight of the trauma, the shame, the guilt, the fear, the regret, or the self-loathing. We can choose joy every day, despite our bank account being overdrawn or close to it.

We can choose joy in the face of wars and rumors of war. We can choose joy and peace;
for those are rooted deeply in Kingdom values and principles, in the Truth, the True Vine.
What are you rooted in? What soil were your seeds planted in? Good soil? Fertile soil? To where they're growing? Thriving? Or did they get thrown by the wayside, scattered and destroyed? 

The truth is we can destroy our own seeds. With our mouth, with the words that we speak. There's life and death in the tongue. It can be used to curse, or it can be used to bless. It can be used as a demolition tool or a tool of construction. 

Are you building people up? Or are you tearing people down?

What does your vine look like?  What fruit is produced off of your tree? Is it good fruit, for good fruit is part of the tree, the Tree of Life, being tethered into that Holy Vine? It cannot bear bad fruit, but a corrupted tree cannot bear good fruit.
What does your life say about you? What does your character say? Are you bearing good fruit for the Kingdom of God? Or is it self-serving, self-sacrificing? Are you willing to say no and die to flesh so that you can say yes to God so that you can truly surrender and stop rebelling against the Truth, the True Way? 

He's calling. He's calling you into the harvest field.

He's calling you this season as you reflect; as you look over your life, did you not see Him there? Wasn't He in your circumstance, but you didn't see Him? Maybe it was your perspective. Maybe it's the way you looked at things. I know that's been mine. 

What's happened with me; just the other day, I was on the ranch and preparing for a group to come, of survivors for a retreat.

And I looked out at the fire pit and across the lake at the rocking chair, and I thought, boy, I need to clean those up. And I'd said that the night before, and I thought, I need to lug water over there and clean everything because I want it to be perfect for when they come. Erase the dirty, the murk, the mire on them, the residue left over from the past.

That morning, I awoke. And I was sitting outside, as I often do, much about this, like this time of the day now. And I thought it was time to commune with the Lord as He put that on me. So I went to sit in the chair on my porch and took a cloth because I had to wipe the chair. 

But it started by me looking out the window to the pasture, looking out at my cow, Hope, and the cats messing with each other and these birds that were there. And I saw them, but what I saw that I'd never seen before was water dripping off of my office, the she shed, this little office I'm in now.

Again, I went outside, and it wasn't raining. And it hit me. Oh wow, the chair's full of water. That's dew. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I have to wipe my chair. I wiped it so clean, and there was water everywhere all over my chair, and I thought that was easy. 

How many times have we chosen the complicated path? Tried to go the hard way, you know, do things the hard way instead of waiting on God's timing.

How many times have we tried to force an outcome only to have catastrophic results? 

I looked at the chair, and then it hit me. Put your shoes on, your boots. God has supplied what you needed just like He supplied Manna in the wilderness. And so I went down to the water, and I took a cloth, and I wiped every chair clean with a small, small towel.

And I was wiping each chair, cleaning off the dirt, the murk. And I was praising God and thanking Him because I'd never realized He provided me water, and I didn't have to go and lug it and force it, and force it and kill my back and struggle. I just had to trust Him to provide what I needed. So, I was overcome with emotion.

I washed every chair. I made it down from the fire pit to the rocking chairs by the lake. I
had to wring out the towel because I had excess water. Because He supplied exceedingly abundantly more than I could ask for, think, or imagine. 

Yet, when I try to do it my way, and in my strength, I face adversity and trials, and often, I don't even see Him because my perspective needed to change. 

How many times had He supplied the water I needed to wash the chairs? But I never took the time to go outside, sit with Him, commune with Him, and have Him whisper to me and show me that He had indeed provided what I needed: Rain in a time of drought, fresh water, wash everything clean. 

Often, He provides what we need, sends us people in our life to speak life into us, to help us walk along that righteous path and get rid of the murk and the mire of our circumstances, but we're so buried, we don't see Him. We don't stretch out our hand for healing; we don't ask Him to walk with us as a friend, comforter, advocate, or healer. 

Are you walking through a trial right now? Are you facing a terminal illness?

Are you facing a financial drought in your circumstances? Are you facing a sick child? A sick loved one?

Are you in bondage? Are you in an abusive marriage? A failed relationship? Are you a child on the street?

We're all children of God. How do we see those on the street? Do we see them as God sees them? Do we see them as children of the Light? With their own set of circumstances. Can we brighten their day? Can we help them carry the weight of it all?
That's what Christ did for me. He died on the Cross so I could be set free. So I didn't have to carry the weight. He set me free. Changed my perspective. And now I celebrate Him. And the small things like the dew, to help me wash the chairs. So I didn't have to kill my back like we would.

Sorry, Father, I didn't see You like that before. You try to teach us in so many things. Walk with us. Fellowship with us. You're such a good Father. We fail to trust. We fail to walk in faith.

Check out Hebrews 11 for the Truth, for the Vine, for obedience sacrifice unto the Lord.
He's calling you to a time of obedient sacrifice. Are you willing to go? Are you willing to walk in faith?

Are you willing to walk even though you can't see the promises yet? Are you willing to trust? 

Our amazing, amazing, Father who loves us unconditionally and meets us where we are at in the middle of our circumstances?

He was there when I was huddled in the bathroom as a small child, reading my Bible. I found comfort in the verses, which gave me the strength to unlock the bathroom door.

I knew the hell that I would face when I walked out that door every single time. And I was made to do things that left me dirty, full of shame and guilt. I was a child. You are children. You did not deserve what happened to you. You cannot control it, and you cannot control how you responded to it. 

Choose life.

Choose freedom. He was there with you.
If He had not been there with me, I would have died. I was already dead. I would have died physically, maybe killed my abuser, and maybe lost myself in drugs. 

So many times, there were people that came to bring me food when I needed it.
Teachers that spoke into me helped me carry the weight of it all—men of faith, women of faith. Different people were there along my way. 

Sure, some people came to hurt me. But there were many good people God had sent who followed and obeyed. 

Are you the answer to someone's prayer? Are you the miracle? 

If you don't go or help, how will they know that God loves them and that He meets them in the darkness?

We're being called into the dark to shine the Light. Are you ready? Will you go?

Father, thank you. 

That's today's Reflective Hour because it's what He wants.

That's what He's speaking through me today. 

Follow Him. He said, " Follow Him in Truth; freedom is found in Jesus Christ."