I think we all have experienced plenty of life’s lack of fairness. We want it to be fair, but it isn’t. The teacher or parent does not see the precipitating events that lead you to retaliate against your classmate or sibling. Criminals are not caught. People die young. Natural disasters take their toll.
Have you ever noticed how we (I) ask a lot more questions about life events that are unpleasant or “not fair” than about things that go the way we like? The questions and lines of thinking we allow ourselves are an important factor in how we process and move through the challenges in life.
If I ask “Why me?” become overly introspective, begin the blame game or focus on the pain for too long I can quickly spiral into a negative pattern of thinking. I can become angry, bitter, resentful, jealous, and down right unhappy. These lines of thinking, if indulged, become a trap. Like a bird in a snare, I can no longer fly.
Or, I can remember that I am a created being, not the creator. God is good and His love for me is immeasurable. This is when I am reminded that I am here to be conformed, a little more each day, to the image of Christ. It is from this point that I take my first step towards thanksgiving. My “Why” questions more easily morph into a grateful heart. I know I need a lot of pruning, and reshaping if I am to think like, look like, sound like and react like Jesus!
Thanksgiving moves me toward worship. When life is unfair, I choose to worship our creator. If I don’t, I find myself in that snare, unable to fly, and I REALLY like to “fly”.
So I get to choose. Will I trust God and His goodness that He really does know all things, even when life is not fair? Will I accept that I cannot see what God sees? That He has a plan and a process that leads to more of Him? Can I accept that the pain in the moment is not wasted? Will I believe God knows about it and is not indifferent to my pain? He has experienced it himself.
I can hear some skeptics, my friends who have seen an inordinate share of the unfairness of life. “I’m not like you!” “That’s fine if it works for you!” “It doesn’t work that way for me.”
Do not be mistaken. It’s not about wishfully believing the best without a foundation for it. It is about who God is and It is about choices and history. God is the object of our faith and he is good and this creator loves me unconditionally. I have built a history with the Lord of my life, this good God. Yes it has taken decades, but it does not take decades to get started. It begins with one choice to trust. Followed by the second choice to trust and the third…. I have seen skeptics transformed.
Having a few good people with you to walk along side you is essential. Wherever I have been in my journey, God has given me loyal friends to walk with me, to encourage me, listen to me and when necessary, to correct me. God created us as social beings and he has designed the process of Christ likeness to take place within community. So I reach out to faithful friends when I am hurting or confused, when life is not fair. Most of all, I reach out to the God who made me because he knows best what I really need.
Life is not fair, but it is worth running after the One who made me. The pains and disappointments fade when I focus my gaze on the one who loves me above all.
In HIS grip,
How do you respond when life is not fair? Do you believe that God is good and that He loves you?