Driving home tonight, my overly tired 8-year-old had a meltdown with an over-riding theme: “It’s just not fair!” As I sat and tried to reassure him and make him feel better, I realized something.
Over the last week and a half the over-riding theme in my head has been: “It’s just not fair!” My mom suffered a pretty serious injury just over a week and a half ago. She’s had 4 surgeries and countless tests in the last week and a half. Just a month before, she had another injury that required an outpatient surgery. And over the last few years, she’s battled various health issues. All the while, she’s stayed strong in her faith, witnessed to others, served faithfully and helped anyone she could. Through it all, I would venture to say that very few people have known the battles she’s faced.
So over the last week and a half I’ve felt myself so many times thinking, “It’s just not fair!” I’ve said it out loud a few times, too. Why does someone who faithfully serves God and serves others endure so much? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do those who stay happily lukewarm appear to get off so easy? It’s just not fair!
As I’ve battled that thought, especially over the last week and a half, God has reminded me countless times that He never promised the road would be easy, He promised he’d get us through. He never promised less “bad”, He actually tells us that it will probably be harder. The words of James, while they don’t make me like these situations more, give me great perspective and peace:
James 1:2-6 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.
When you face those things that aren’t “fair”, those things that make you question why, those things that push you to your limits, take James’s advice. Cling to the promise that the Father loves to help. And trust that when this life is done, the reward that waits for the battles waged here will far outweigh the pain of this life.