These past few weeks? They’ve been a little crazy.
I’ve caught myself muttering, “it’s not fair” under my breath a few more times than I’d like to admit. (Yes, I go there from time to time! Don’t judge!)
So now that my confession is out in the open I definately can’t tiptoe around this topic because I’m preaching to myself today. Maybe it will resonate with you too, so let’s dive straight in and not waste time trying to make this into something pretty because it’s kind of ugly and unglamorous. Sometimes things in life don’t really seem fair at all, do they? Maybe the job you landed that seemed tailor-made for you on paper turned out to be a massive disaster once you discovered what it was really about. Or what about the time your best friend betrayed you unexpectedly and undeservedly? And what about that person who seems to have everything work out in his favor over and over again while you keep landing flat on your back?
Oh, but then it gets worse, because that’s just how it goes during times like these. It’s usually exactly when we’re wading chin deep in frustration that a friend swaggers up to you, jumps up and down, grins, and shares her great news: “I just booked a 3 month European excursion!” “We bought a beach compound in Hawaii!” “I unexpectedly came into an absurd amount of money and am quitting my job to start a unicorn farm!” Or something else as equally wonderful, glamorous, and at the complete opposite end of the spectrum that you find yourself in.
Have you ever noticed in those times when you’re struggling, when having hope feels like the last thing you could do, and when things don’t seem fair, it’s almost impossible to tell someone, “I’m so happy for you!” and mean it?
That phenomenon is exactly what I’ve been pondering these past few weeks. Do you think it could be that we feel this way because we believe there’s only so much goodness to go around? And maybe, just maybe, we worry that if something good happened to them, it means there’s less goodness available to us?
Good stuff happens in this world to people who really don’t deserve it, and there’s no denying it. I’d be a liar if I said otherwise. But knowing good things happen to people who don’t deserve it doesn’t have to lead us to any conclusion about what that means for us. So can I ask you an audacious question? If something good can happen to the knuckleheads, what does that mean for you, sweet sister?
When others succeed it’s not a threat to us. It’s a glimpse of the goodness that is available to us right now. It’s points us back to the One who is goodness itself.
God’s goodness cannot be divided and we, as his daughters, dwell smack in the middle of that goodness. Even when things don’t seem fair. Especially when things don’t seem fair. There’s enough of his goodness to go around.
The rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). Good things happen to everyone. Bad things happen to everyone, too. Who are we to know what’s fair and not fair? We’re not the ones to know, because we don’t see the whole picture. Maybe we could put down our gavel, stop trying to decide what's fair or not fair in our lives, and realize that only God knows the whole story. He sees it all, the beginning, middle, and end. He’s far more interested in seeing us grow in holiness and virtue than becoming unicorn farmers.
So what if instead of spending all our time worrying about what’s fair, we simply pressed onward? What if we decided to get bold in the face of the doubts, to have valiant faith, and tremendous trust in our Father? What if we stopped with the pouting and decided to believe he’s good and desires good for us, even in the thick of the moments that seem unfair? And then, what if we actually got insanely crazy and lived these what-ifs out? What would change in our lives? How would things look different? What would change in the lives of the people around us as the choice to do things differently rippled out into the world?
We won’t ever know the answers to the what-ifs unless we stop dancing around the edge of these questions and jump in the deep end. Let's stop being women who are content to simply dip our toes in the water. Let's go all the way in.