Why Me?

Unshakable Hope

Over the years I’ve had ALS, I’ve become convinced that for a Christian to retain hope in the midst of a difficult trial, he or she must believe that God allowed the trial for a purpose; a purpose greater than what God would have been able to accomplish in and through that person apart from the trial.

“…even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith…may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

I think every Christian that goes through a difficult trial will eventually ask “Whyme?”  

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But, I’ve learned that our motive behind asking this seemingly simple question says a lot about how we view God – and also a lot about how we view ourselves.

The first man asks the…

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About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with ALS. The neurologist gave me 3-5 years to live. 24 years later... :-) I'm completely paralyzed and unable to speak. By God's grace and the great care of my wife, I'm still here. I live to encourage and give hope to others going through difficult times.

Posted on May 22, 2018, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. An excellent verse! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Bill for reminding me tonight that God’s perfect plan does include physical suffering. God bless you as you persevere in hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Vivian. I don’t know if “God’s perfect plan” includes suffering, but it definitely comes with living in a fallen world.
      “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill,
    I thought of you this morning & I’m sure this is not a new idea. I’m sure you have thought of it and others have suggested it and it is strangely impacting me because I am writing this as if God Himself is formulating the words He’d have you see. But I feel this strong nudging to encourage you to write a book called “Why Me?
    And leave it at that. Lol. You know I have a reason but I feel it might get lost in all my words & make it about me. When this message truly is meant for just you. Please pray about it. I know it would be a tremendous project to undertake but I just felt so nudged.
    Love you my friend. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are such an encourager, Diane!
      Mary, our daughters and some friends have been urging me to write a book. I have actually been writing, but I am so slow and am riddled with A.D.D. 🙂 (only half-joking)
      I like your title idea. I was going to title it “Unshakable Hope,” but Max Lucado is coming out with a book titled Unshakable Hope this August. As a writer friend told me, “you better choose another title, Max is tough competition.” 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading Max’s book, I really like his writing. His dad died of ALS and maybe he’ll refer to this in his upcoming book.
      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Diane.

      Liked by 1 person

      • WOW. You should write to him! & share your blog! If nothing else I am sure he’d endorse you! Do you see how this is ALL intertwined??!!
        That is sooo weird! I was going to suggest the Title Unshakable Hope & then was “nudged” to suggest the other! Coincidence? I think not! Besides you already have your cover!!!! Do you see it?! It’s on this post. I just sent this post to a ton of people I felt led to & they have all responded with the same reaction-goosebumps!
        You are a light shining in all of our bad moods, poor attitudes & lack of faith. A catalyst & a Vessel!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you so much for your encouragement, Diane. Years ago, Mary and our youngest daughter went to a Max Lucado book signing. When they took the book up to get signed, Max struck up a conversation with our daughter, Leah. She told him they were buying the book for her daddy. He asked about her daddy and she told him I had ALS. He froze and told her that his dad had ALS. He wrote me a very kind note in the front of the book. He’s a very nice man and I like that he’s using Unshakable Hope as the title of his upcoming book. Mary likes your “Why Me?” suggestion 🙂 Thanks, sister.


  4. Wishing you a Happy Father’s Day, Bill! You are an inspiration to us all.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Allan Halton

    That’s a very good and appropriate question to ask God when He lavishes His boundless mercy and infinite grace upon us. Why me, Lord? Instead of thinking God is well advised when He does this for us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Again, a very beautiful testimony. Thank you for always blessing us with your posts, Mr Sweeney. To God be the glory! May He reward your faith and the desires of your heart–not only in eternity but also in this lifetime. (Your post also brought to mind Philippians 3:7-14).

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Your words are so encouraging. Continue to share your “unshakable hope” with all who read this blog, you are making a difference! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Too funny that we Christians have a great sense of humour not to mention abiding faith,. God would have responded why not because you are a special person that can handle it. I love your story, the courage to come back. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comments. Yes, you cannot have thin skin if you are a Christian, I made fun of Christians before I became one, and I fully expect that those that are as I once was will make fun of me now. It’s a badge of honor for me 🙂


  9. issuudotcomslashdewane

    This is very good. If we hold on lovingly to the conviction that God is good and perpetually loving we will come to see that in the end He has worked out the best either in us or through us. Thanks Bill…Doug

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bill,

    Got a little perplexed about your “unbelieving neighbors”. Glad I read the rest of your great perspective before firing off a beligerant comment that would have made you think I needed God! Love the truth of what we have both walked through. “Just walk it out” is my daily focus as I encounter the uncertainty of life. My certainty is that it will be great as I stay focused on Him!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, so funny, Les 🙂
      I should have specified they were our nextdoor neighbors before we moved here, next door to our crazy neighbors.
      Yes, you definitely know a lot about trials. There is a show called, “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” and I was going to suggest that you send them your brush with death stories, but they wouldn’t believe you.
      Thanks for your comments.


  11. You are an amazing inspiration! Your faith is evident and your treasure increased.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Bill, couldn’t miss the opportunity to say Hi! You and Mary are right at the top of my prayer list everyday so I never forget you. I want you to know how much your faith means to me and for sure, many others. I can’t seem to be able to put what I want to say into words but I hope you know what a cherished brother you are. Just sent you a hug. Grace and blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The Bible says in James 4:14:
    Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time; and then vanisheth away.
    We may never know this side of eternity why God allows things to happen, but we CAN look forward to our resurrected bodies. Praise God! 😊
    Many blessings, Piera

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen, Piera. This is so true. I think that understanding that this life is just “Boot Camp” for eternity really helped me when I was diagnosed with this “terminal disease” 21+ years ago. There’s no such thing as a terminal disease when you have Unshakable Hope in eternal life.


  14. Bill… you are making an impact on many people with your honesty and unwavering faith; even in the midst of this long battle. I was introduced to your column by your sister-in-law, Jan. (She knew I would like it, and of course, I do.)
    You have a gift of writing and touching people in ways you will not know about until we meet in Heaven. Looking forward to that day!
    The story of your neighbors is a GOOD reminder of doing what Jesus asks of us: Love your neighbors (even if they think we are wacky Christians)
    Thank you for all you’ve already done and still have to do!!

    Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: Why Me? — Unshakable Hope | Freedom Through Empowerment

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