Is this fair enough for you?

I don’t know a lot about what makes life fair, but that subject has been on my mind a lot this past month. I have sat comparing the condition of one friend against another, one’s range of blessings versus others’ depth of pain. I ask indignantly, Why do some lives seem bombarded by suffering so intensely, while others appear to steadfastly experience abundance in ways that the other could never imagine?

These are questions I don’t have the answers to; this is the sum of a matter too deep for negligible experience to dispel. Yet, my discomfort with these mysteries is a chance to be humbled by a God that need not explain to me His every nuance.

Not that God is at fault for things like world hunger, and extreme personal suffering, but He does absolutely rule over these things, and often not in ways that I can understand.

I want simple responses to big questions. I come to God with the hope that He will make the problems that I see small enough for me to stand above, rather than stretching my faith to recognize that He is standing above everything that I do not.

I utter complaints about the world around me, believing He’ll get behind my judgments on the obvious disorder around me, and set the world straight. Yet, rather than blighting the fruits of error that I can’t stand, He points out the great, big root of it so mercilessly growing up and out of my own heart — so long it wraps around the vital organ, so strong it cripples a beat that I trust as the standard of every other rhythm.

Clearly I’m a wreck, and not as proficient at judging the world around me as I thought. Instead of sticking to what I think I know, I have to stand on faith — relying upon Him who sets me right, and not on me, who only gets in His way.

For, it is when I commit myself to trusting Him who makes both my faith and vision sure, I find that my heart is set to the beat of His own heart. And the tempo of Him I love more than life rising from the deepest places of my soul, I recognize that if He resolved this fairness issue according to my heart, I would face a more bitter reality: I would be completely deprived of knowing Him in this rare way because I am not perfect.

The Way We Were

Remember way back when, when you first discovered Christ? What was your response? What did you think He was all about? Or were you too distracted by the offenses you had against His followers to look as far as the Guy this whole thing is really about?

I hope that was not the case. I hope the main object for you never really was His followers, but Who is to be followed. Not a consideration of whether you could really “do” following Him, or whether you wanted to be connected with this bunch that come with Him, but whether Christ really mattered, whether He is the Way, Truth and Life that He claims to be. The One who won’t let you get by without letting you hear His voice.

And, no matter what your original response was, I hope that isn’t all that remains now. I hope you haven’t stayed with a “yes” or a “no” that is so old it has grown stale. You wouldn’t even know that it ever had relevance because it has lost its affect. Does what you said then line up with what you live now? Have you learned anything in the interim that should have inclined you to search deeper into what is true, and is really worth believing, or have you ignored a multitude of opportunities to discover a reality you never knew?

Have you rationalized that there is no more to God than you already know/believe because you don’t want to hear any more? You are determined that you will not set yourself up to receive any kind of information or influence that will potentially discredit your ideas or pressure you to adjust what you’re grounded in?

But, isn’t the final decision for what you believe one that rests with you? With all this power and responsibility weighing on you, wouldn’t it be best to research the options you have as much from the inside as you can? To refuse to investigate the truth, we will always be satisfied with lies that are just close enough to the truth for us to be at home but not too unnerved.

That is no place to live out a lifetime, no place to put down roots and declare ourselves firmly established. If we do, we are deceived.

We were not meant to be masters of our own fate so much as we are told by others who want this quantity of independence so badly. We were meant to have the fullness of life in dependence. I know, this can sound like an oximoron. But it only fails to apply to our lives when we see our lives in the wrong light.

If we still believe we can have everything here and now on our own and be fully satisfied, then we truly do not have any need for anything else to further “complicate” our lives. But, if we are people who can agree that we have any need at all, then we must confess that we are needy people.

We cannot look at our lives as a million different pieces of a puzzle that must be all in place for us to enjoy life at all, or as a youthful lark that we need make no provision for, but as an adventure, which must be planned for and fully entered into to be fully enjoyed; an adventure that would make no sense if it ended in a deep, dark hole with no one at our side because we just followed where the road took us.

No, instead, we have options when we set out on our way. You may be saying at this point that you’re not really interested in adventure right now. Well, the truth is, whether you see yourself as the adventurous-type or not, you have been born into an adventure that is already in full swing. Your job, since you were ushered into this, was to make the most of where you are, using everything you have to find out the whole point of what is going on all around you.

Don’t be fooled by philosophers and their pets who tell you that this is all there is and you are not to dream that there is any meaning behind what you can see with the naked, physical eye. There is so much more — whether you find it or not, it is still there, dictating the deepest realities in life, holding you together in spite of yourself.