Where is God when life seems unfair? My colleague Crystal was wondering just that. “My husband is living with some woman in Atlanta’, she told me bitterly. He doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. In the meantime, I’m struggling to make ends meet for me and my kids”. My heart went out to her. It wasn’t fair that she was struggling under this burden alone while her husband of 15 years- after leaving his family and living for himself-seemed to be better off. Or was he? The situation just didn’t seem just. Where was God? And why didn’t He seem to care?
My conversation with Crystal had me thinking about God’s way and how situations are not always as they seem. And it brought to mind a principle from Scripture, written by David, a man who was promised the kingdom of Israel but waited years before God handed it to him. A man who was upright in his ways and yet waited on God’s timing to bless him. A man, anointed King, who slept in caves and was hunted for years like a wild beast because the current King was insanely jealous of him and wanted him dead. That man in humility, wrote: “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked” (Psalm 84:10).
King Saul was dwelling richly….in kingly tents. David was sleepng on the hard, rocky ground, probably in caves. King Saul was eating whatever his heart desired. David was skimping, catching his own food, living off the land. It wasn’t fair. It didn’t seem like justice. Yet, the rightful King said in so many words, “I would rather live simply, and without much, being close to my God, than have it all out there on my own”. You may feel you are living simply, skimping and barely getting by while someone else who seems to have no regard for God- is living high on the hog! But God sees your heart. And if you are truly bent on being obedient to Him, even during tough times when things don’t seem fair, He will raise you up at the right time…perhaps even into the king’s palace, in a manner of speaking.
James 4:10 tells us: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up”. There is a timing factor to all that we go through in life. If we are humbling ourselves and God is not exalting us, our time hasn’t yet come. Trust Him. Wait on Him, not your circumstance. And cast all your anxiety on Him. Why? Because He cares for you. Keep holding that door for the Lord. Keep doing the small things in His presence and with a joyful heart. Keep providing for your children the way you do. And keep a pure heart. As you do, delight in the fact that you are living simply.
When people see things as unfair in society, they often call for change. But what is just and what is expected are often confused. And in times of change, our sense of unfairness increases. God may not seem fair at times. He calls His people to be ‘set apart’, both in their attitude and expectations. He calls them to use their gifts not to selfish ends, but in service to others and to His praise. To those who follow Jesus as the Christ, God has not promised prosperity, but a cross-a burden of suffering, a reflection; however pale, of Christ suffering on His cross. So whatever’s going on in your life today— whatever you’ve endured and whatever doesn’t seem fair–I want you to know that you’re not invisible to God. He sees you, He knows exactly how much you can take, and He will deliver you at just the right time. He won’t be a moment too late! Remember, God is the only One who can truly vindicate you. He is the God of justice, and He can take your wrong thing and make it right!