The other day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed for the 20th time that day, and my eyes caught something that really hit home from Lysa TerKeurst:
Read it again. Slower this time, then come back…I will wait.
Ok, good. I just wanted to make sure it really sunk in, and I feel like I have to read something at least twice (and sometimes say it out loud) for it to really get down into my soul. Let’s unpack this status update piece by piece shall we?
Disappointment. I don’t know about you, but just that word gives me a sinking nauseating feeling in my stomach. I don’t like to disappoint other people (aka “people pleaser”) and I certainly don’t like to be disappointed in someone else, or in my life. Before I continue, can we please push aside any hostile feelings of “I’m sure what YOU are going through is NOTHING compared to what I am going through!” Let’s not play that game. Until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, you cannot know how deep something hurts, or how difficult a season of life may be. Just wanted to clear that up. Moving on…..
I am a planner. No, not for a living (well, I AM a travel planner for a living but that’s not what I mean). I have plans for my life. When I was in college I had plans for my career. When I got married I had plans for our perfect little “married life”, and when I had a baby, well…we can all laugh at those plans now can’t we? Oh my friends there are many, MANY things “that I thought would be” that either have not happened yet, or happened in a totally different way then I anticipated. For this type-A planned out person, those realities really, REALLY have gotten my panties in a twist at times.
This leads to the next part…the unanswered questions…and the sensation that things just. aren’t. fair. Why did HER husband get that promotion? Why was I not picked for that project? Why was I plagued with this illness or injury? Why did they get that awesome opportunity, I could have don’t just a good of job if not better….
(enter random beach photo to break up the text).
We have all said it, thought it, fumed about it. Jealousy is an ugly monster that can rule your life if not kept in check. You have heard it 100 times and threatened to deck the next person that says it to you…God has a plan…you can trust God. Not exactly what you want to hear when you lose your job, or your child is in the hospital, or you aren’t sure how you are going to afford your bills.
Pick a problem. Think of a time when you thought that life just was not fair. Let’s look at it from God’s point of view shall we. When thinking of that problem or situation, try to think…
– Maybe God allowed something to happen (or not happen) because He has a greater opportunity waiting for you that would not be possible if He gave you the thing you wanted so badly.
– Maybe if you got or did the thing that would make things “fair” in your mind, it would lead to your ruin. Maybe God is trying to protect you from something that you just can’t see yet, and not getting your way is for your well being on down the road.
– Maybe you have strayed away from God, and He is using this situation to bring you back to Him. I have heard it said that pain is God’s megaphone. You are not very likely to listen when things are going your way, and you don’t have a care in the world. I think sometimes God has to use drastic measures on us hardheaded folks to get our attention.
I can look back over the past several years at situations where I felt things were just not fair. There is a common thread through all of these situations, and no the commonality is NOT that everything ended up working out the way I wanted it to. I wish it were that easy! The thing that I can glean from looking at each of those not so fun circumstances it that God was with me through them all, (Deuteronomy 31:8) and each time I have had a struggle, it has been a little bit easier to deal with because based on past experiences, I knew God was going to bring me through it. Chew on that for awhile. If the more hard stuff you go through draws you closer to God and helps you to trust him more the NEXT time something comes up, then I would say it was a worthwhile experience.
A friend of mine posted something very interesting on Facebook the other day that got me thinking. It said “no test = no testimony”. Such a simple phrase but it packs a powerful punch. If our faith is never tested, and if things are always “fair” in our little world, then how are we to relate to and help our friends and family and even strangers that are going through difficult times? Think about it. When you are going through something, do you want to pour your heart out to someone who has never gone through hard times, or the same types of hard times? I know I don’t! I want sage advice from those who have “been there done that” and made it out the other side. It gives me hope for my situation. (2 Corinthians 1:4)
I try to not get too philosophical here on my blog because big words confuse me and when I ask Siri what they mean, she laughs at me.However, from time to time I feel led to bring up certain things. I don’t share EVERYTHING from my life here, but I do want you to know I have gone through and am going through some hard stuff. It may look different from your hard stuff, but it’s all hard just the same. I still sometimes find myself with unanswered questions and asking God why He is allowing things to happen, but in the end I know I can trust Him and that He has a plan. Even if it ends up not looking like the life I envisioned, I certainly don’t want to shortchange myself when God may have something else really awesome and better planned than I can even imagine.
QOTD: Have you ever felt like life just wasn’t fair? How did you respond?