Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do when life is unfair. Would you agree? Recently one of my children had the opportunity to go on an adventure. Nothing huge, just a little treat with Daddy while he was running an errand. When her sister found out, her response was? “That’s not fair!” (insert pout face here) I’m guessing you’ve heard that before. Either from a child, grandchild, co-worker, or if you’re like me? In your own mind.
As I was running this morning, I thought a lot about how to cope with life when hard things come our way. When all sense of “fairness” is gone. When circumstances cause us to take inventory of what really matters. Ya’ll, my one guide on the fairness of life? The Bible. And you know what? I’ve never been able to find one Scripture that says, “Life will be fair and all things are equal.” In fact, it says the opposite. The wisest man to ever live, King Solomon, said this:
I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11
As I meditated on this verse and prayed while I was running, I narrowed down a few things to remember and do when life is unfair.
1. Give yourself permission to grieve.
If this is your first time reading here, then you may not know that my 21 year old daughter suffers from a rare metabolic disorder. Her diagnosis is terminal and we have entered the last stages of her disease. She is under the care of the complex care team and palliative care team. While our family has experienced years of knowing the outcome of her disease, recently I’ve been grieving her loss of being able to stand on her own and sit up in a chair. Frankly, I’ve had to give myself permission to grieve these losses. I’ve taken a lot of comfort in knowing that there is a time for everything. There’s nothing wrong with being sad over life’s losses. So go ahead, give yourself permission to cry when you need it.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Ecclesiastes 3:4
2. Analyze where you are placing your hope.
It’s easy to hope in a treatment or cure. It’s easy to want to hope for better circumstances or a quick-fix. You know what it’s like to deal with car problems or serious health issues. But I just had to remind myself this morning that hoping in people will disappoint us. Hoping in things only distracts us. Hoping in ourselves and pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps? Often results in feelings of devastation. Hope is a precious commodity and the only place perfect hope can rest is in Jesus Christ.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5 NIV
3. Purposefully choose how to deal with the pain.
Rather than allow emotions to control how you deal with the pain of circumstances, set your mind on a purposeful pain reducer. This morning as I ran, I deliberately told God how much I love him and asked him to show me how much he loves me. He prompted my heart to remember that he sent his only Son to die for me. That’s how much he loves me. He reminded me that this earth is only temporary and that heaven is eternal. That’s how much he loves me. He reminded me that in heaven, Taylor will have a new body and she will be free from the burdens of this world. So rather than sulk into despair and desperation, I chose to soak in the love of my Father.
Love provides incredible pain relief. – One More Step
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. Revelation 21:4
4. Trust in God’s plan.
I came to know Christ as a child. When I was 6 years old, I believed that Jesus died for me and that he rose from the grave. I trust the Lord to take me to heaven when I die. That’s a HUGE decision, right? And I nailed it down. I believe God’s Word with all my heart and that’s not going to change. His Spirit lives inside of me. If you’ve trusted Christ as your Savior, then you believe the same thing. But isn’t it interesting how we trust God for eternal salvation and yet we have a hard time trusting him with everyday living? And so my thoughts were driven to some of my very favorite Bible verses.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5&6
This roller coaster ride our family is on right now? One day, it will appear as straight as an arrow. I’ll understand it all and Taylor won’t have to walk through the pain and suffering any more. Until then, I choose to believe God’s Word is true and I’m trusting that His way is higher than my way. That his plan for Taylor’s life exceeds anything I can comprehend because she is his creation and he loves her even more than I do. It’s the same for you!
Need more help with feeling overwhelmed?
Then you’ll want my “heart” book, One More Step!
By his grace,