Life Is Not Fair.

A Giant Burl on a Giant Redwood Tree

A Giant Burl on a Giant Redwood Tree

I know we all know life is not fair, but who really talks about it outside the private conversations with a friend or someone paid to keep their mouth shut such as a pastor, lawyer or therapist? I mean, most of us try to hold it together and not say what we really think for fear of being seen as not spiritual, or faithless. Besides, it’s a fearful thing to let those fears out, to feel exposed.

But isn’t that the attitude that leads us to isolation and hopelessness? Isolation and hopelessness in turn causes many to “go over the edge” and begin to self medicate, hurting ourselves and others.

So how do we look at the unfairness in life? How do we cope?

Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can go through the yuck in life without a personal relationship with God our creator and His son Jesus Christ.

As I have mentioned the last couple weeks, my mom is in Hospice. Instead of passing to heaven as she so eagerly desires, she has improved a bit. Not a lot, but enough to leave the hospice ward in the hospital and to come home to be cared for here by hospice. She is sometimes lucid, but not for long. As her best friend since kindergarten described it, her thinking is “a little fuzzy around the edges.”

It’s just not fair!

My mom is an amazingly generous, kind, gracious and intelligent woman! How can she be stuck in a hospital bed with thinking “a little fuzzy around the edges” to put it nicely.

Where is God in this?

For me, I have enough personal history with God and life’s unfair happenings, that I can force myself to step back a bit and take a breath. There I begin to see the cycle of life and the sovereignty of God and His love gently wafting around us.

I still don’t like it and I still don’t understand it. She has stated emphatically, no, vehemently for years that she never wanted to be stuck like this.

So what do I do?

Honestly, I have to take that step back, or a couple of steps. Too close and it just hurts. It’s confusing. If I only focus on the unfair that is in my face, my view of life and God becomes distorted.

What can I do? I love to DO….

I get to love her. This woman who changed my diapers and sacrificed so much for me all my life, needs me here with her. I do not serve her out of an obligation founded on guilt or any phantom emotion. I get to serve her because our personal history and the love of Christ fill my heart with compassion. I can honor both God and my mother by drawing on His supernatural resources to give and serve and be with my mom.

I can genuinely say I am grateful to have these days, that now are turning to weeks. If she had died at home alone, I’d have missed this time to honor, serve and speak my love to her so clearly. It seems so unfair to suffer at the end of life.  And I suffer too as I watch her.

Yet I can choose to look for good and for God, or risk living in bitterness.

I have tasted bitterness … and I don’t want that.

In the unfair moments of your life, can you step back and breathe? Can you ask God to show you at least one good thing? Thank him for it? Don’t stop! It will keep you alive to God and give you the opportunity to learn amazing things about yourself and your creator.

Andrea (Madden) Van Boven : I like to think I am a radical lover of Jesus, but I live in a house and pay bills and look like I fit in with respectable society, like most people. What goes on in my head and heart are hopefully the things that betray the look of "normal" that comes at first glance. I hope those things inside of me seep out to actions as well as words of hope and encouragement. I pray that these in turn will lead others to know the loving creator who knows us so intimately that he has a number for every hair on every head.

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2 thoughts on “Life Is Not Fair.

  1. My dad was a very abusive man, and when my mom was sick with cancer, I honestly asked God why he was staying and she was going. He told me that mom knew where she was going but dad needed to experience Grace. In those two years that dad was still alive much healed between us. One of the most profound experiences of my life was shaving my father in the few days before he died. There was an intimacy in that is almost impossible for me to describe. I can only and simply thank God for the unfairness of all of it and for what he did in my heart because of it.

    • Thanks Ed! That is a touching example of what I am experiencing. I am convinced many more have been and will be blessing in similar though different ways.
      In HIS grip,
      Andrea