Why? Why us and not them? Why them and not us? Why is life so incredibly unfair at times? Why, when all around me I see women having healthy babies, do we have to walk through a story of loss… again? The first time, I didn’t have so many questions… now let the questions roll. And as my heart has shouted and whispered those questions, I haven’t been able to shake all the recent stories I’ve heard that have only lifted my eyes to the fact that I do not live in a world of fairness…
Why does a mother lose her husband and 2 of her 9 kids in the recent tornados in Arkansas?
Why does another family lose not one, but both of their only 2 children?
Why does a ferry in South Korea capsize and take with it virtually an entire junior high school class?
Why are countless families living in the agony of wondering what has become of the 250 Nigerian school girls, kidnapped by extremist Islamic group Boko Haram?
“Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?” (Job 21:7)
And why can I sit in the comfort of my living room and just turn the channel, or switch my browser and feel heartache for them for a moment and then move on?
Life is absolutely unfair.
And there are times and seasons where we are faced with the reality of it’s unfairness. For my family, friends and for us, this is one of those times. Where it’s not just in a story I’ve read on the news and my heart has broken just a little and then moved on but it’s in the story unfolding in our lives and the heartache pouring from our hearts as we cry out… This is so unfair!! But the past few weeks I’ve been reminded that we are not the only ones who have experienced the unfairness of life, the sheer seemingly “randomness” of tragedy and pain. Most of the world knows that life can be so unfair. And there is one… who suffered the greatest unfairness of it all. And when I wonder…
“God, how could you allow this, how could you be so….so… Unfair to us…” my heart has been pulled, no rushed to the cross.
How could God be so kind to me and so unfair to Himself? The penalty for our wrong is death (Romans 6:23). But Jesus came and took the form of man, not counting equality with God a thing to be grasped, and layed His life down, taking on every wrong ever done in this world… past, present and future and paid for it so that we could have life, so that we could have the promise of a future with Him now and for eternity. I didn’t deserve that. I absolutely know I didn’t deserve that. It isn’t fair that He, total perfection, should take on my sins, that I could have life. So I have a lot of questions for God right now, but one thing in the midst of this question of fairness that God has reminded me of is that He has suffered unfairness too, willingly, sacrificially and because of His great love for me. Offering me the free gift of life that I accepted many years ago. I am not alone in this. So, in the question of the unfairness of what is unfolding in our story… the only answer I keep coming back to is Jesus. When I don’t understand the suffering of this world, I know the one who didn’t just turn a blind eye but ENTERED into the suffering, and suffered with us.
“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;… surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…” – Isaiah 53:3-4
Yet in His suffering there is a promise, a promise of total redemption to come, and a promise of redemption IN the suffering because He didn’t stay dead. He took on the grief and sorrow and sin of this world and then crushed all its power with His resurrection power.
“In this world you will have trouble, but take courage I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
God’s power is redeeming our lives with Sophie’s story, we see it, we experience it… what should have been ONLY a story of pain and death and heartache has become a story where the threads of hope and joy and life have weaved there way in and through the heartache. Just read about Sophie’s Story and you can’t miss it. His power to redeem IN the suffering is written all over Sophie’s story. And so Kevin and I, in the midst of our devastation now, continue to be reminded that Jesus will restore and redeem ALL things, including this part of our story.
“’He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said. ‘Write this down, for these words are TRUSTWORTHY and TRUE.” – Revelation 21:3,4
I don’t know how He will do it with our story with this child, the path ahead feels quite daunting, but we’ve seen Him do it before and we know He will do it again. So if you feel the agonizing confusion and questions of how could this be happening again… then let those emotions you feel give you a taste of what it’s like to respond to the grace, the free gift of love and sacrifice that comes to us on the Cross through Jesus. Oh, how could He die for me to give me life? How could He take on all the pain in this world so that we could live in freedom?
It. Is. So. Unfair.
It surely doesn’t answer the questions of why God allows what He does but it moves my heart to be unable to shake His love for me, for us right now. Because if life were about how we define fairness, Jesus would never have come to pay the debt we could never pay ourselves. And I wouldn’t have life or freedom or even an inkling of hope that there is redemption in this story now and to come. He is the only One that offers hope and redemption IN the suffering and one day freedom FROM the suffering. So really, Jesus is the only One that makes a whole lot of sense to me right now.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16