When my son, Clayton, was three years old, our local theater had a cheap summer movie series. They featured cartoon movies for just $2—and that included the popcorn!
Now, if you’re a new podcast listener, this might be a good time to tell you that I’m blind. And, by the third film in the series, I needed a way to entertain myself while Clayton and the friends we went with enjoyed the 90 minutes of cartoon silliness.
So, I put my earbuds and cassette Walkman in my purse. (Yes, this was before iPods and even CDs.) I also grabbed a cassette tape I’d had for years but never listened to.
This tape featured a message by speaker Marolyn Ford. She had a personal story that was both similar to and different from my own. And, while I was curious to hear it, I also dreaded listening to it—which was why I had waited so long. I was afraid to hear it, to feel it, and then to have to deal with it.
Yet, that day in the movie theater as the previews began, I finally pushed play.
Marolyn spoke of slowly losing her sight, and described her emotions and challenges in a way I recognized all too well. She shared about her life as a wife and a mother, and about how tired she was of being blind.
I sat there, identifying completely with Marolyn. I knew how she felt.
But there was a point in her message when every part of me wanted to turn off the tape. She was about to describe the one part of her story I would not be able to relate to—something that would feel like salt on my open wound.
But for some reason, I kept listening.
In the darkness of the theater and the darkness of my blindness, I heard her describe the night she cried out to God for healing. She shared how, after praying, she could see again—not just a little bit, but completely. Her healing was a full-blown, certifiable, unreasonable miracle!
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I listened.
How could I reconcile God’s decision to heal the blindness of one of His children, but not the other? How could I carry the joy I felt for what God could do in the same heart that breaks because of what God won’t do? At that moment, I looked into the face of blindness and face of healing and saw God in both.
It was then that I had to confront the unfairness of the God I loved. I didn’t want to feel those emotions and question my faith. I just wanted to paste a mushy greeting card over that very broken place in my heart, which read, “Let go and let God.”
But I couldn’t—and I didn’t. Instead, I faced up to the question, “God, are You fair?”
Sister, maybe you are walking through something hard today and face the same question. You may wonder if God’s ways are right, why do they sometimes feel so wrong?
On this episode of the 4:13 Podcast, KC and I get honest and talk candidly about how God can be just, even when He doesn’t seem fair. We also give you four choices you can make when life feels unfair.
4 Choices You Can Make When God Feels Unfair
- Focus on Jesus. Fix your eyes on Jesus, not on others (Hebrews 12:1-3). When you compare, you can feel like God’s not fair. But God never claimed to be fair—or even experienced fairness Himself. It’s not fair that He, in His perfection, would sacrifice for you and me (2 Corinthians 8:9). So, look to Him and recognize that it’s not supposed to be fair. Fix your eyes on Him and not your problems. God may not want to fix the problem. He may want to fix a situation in your heart through the problem. And, when you focus on Jesus, you stay encouraged.
- Admit your pain. Psalm 62:8 says, “O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.” You can pour out your heart to the Lord and admit your pain. Don’t hold it in because denial is dangerous. Repression leads to depression, but honesty leads to intimacy. When you admit your pain, it draws you closer to the Lord.
- Invite His presence. Invite God into your pain. Psalm 145:8 says, “The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” When you call on Him, you’re making your pain a bridge, not a barrier. You’re inviting Him to step right into the middle of your mess because bridges invite relationship, barriers separate us.
- Rest in God, not answers. There are mysteries you might not ever understand. Psalm 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him, don’t fret about the evil man who prospers.” Instead of comparing your life with that of others or seeking answers, you can rest. Answers don’t satisfy, only a relationship with God does. His presence is more valuable than His answers.
Sister, no matter what you face today, focus your eyes on Him, admit your pain, invite His presence, and rest in Him. Through Christ, you can have the courage and comfort to trust God, even when you don’t like or understand His ways.
Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- God Is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
- Missing Pieces: Real Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
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You may face a situation, circumstance, or hard place that doesn’t seem fair today. How can we pray for you?