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I heard it many times from the “fair police” in our family as she was growing up: “It’s not fair!”  To which I would reply, as gently as possible, “Well, you know what, life isn’t fair.”

We just returned from several days away, to Dallas, TX, for a conference about churches equipping parents to raise godly kids, to pass their faith along so that when the kids grow up they will remain faithful and involved.  We were challenged, inspired, encouraged, sobered, and taught much during our time there.  It was a lot to take in, hearing from about 10 speakers in two days’ time.  It was also really nice to be away with my husband, get a little more sleep than usual, bask in Texas sunshine outside, and just chill.

poutingIt’s good to get away but always good to get home.  However, as we were getting ready for bed last night I found myself feeling grumpy, out of sorts.  I asked myself why.  We just had a great week, learned lots of good things, had nice time away together.  What do I have to be grumpy about?  I’ve been intentionally trying to have a positive, faith-filled attitude about everything, but some emotion I’ve been pushing down bobbed up to the surface.  As I lay down to go to sleep, in my head I told God, “It’s not fair, God.  All these changes we’ve been through the last few years and the ones ahead – I’ve been trying to have a good attitude and choose to trust but right now I’m grumpy.  The people you have led away and are leading away  – I know that’s a good thing and you have wonderful plans for them – but it’s not fair.   Our house in St. Louis that we’ve had for sale/rent since December 2006.  It’s not fair.  We’ve been praying our knees off about it for years now.  The ongoing financial strain we’ve been under is getting old and it’s not fair.  We’ve learned a lot about being good stewards and just want some breathing room.  I’m tired.   I’m tired of keeping my chin up and being optimistic.  I’m tired of trying to see the bright side of all this, God.  I just want to whine tonight and tell you I don’t think it’s fair.  On top of that, God, all the beautiful people of so many races that I saw at the airport made me think of all the people around the world who don’t know You.  They’ve been raised in other religions.  Are they really going to hell because they don’t know Jesus?  That doesn’t seem fair either.”  Tears stung my eyes.  I didn’t hear anything from Him.  It was quiet.  All I heard was the sound of the fan in our room gently oscillating back and forth and the quiet snore of John who had already fallen asleep.  I drifted off myself.

This morning I awoke still restless and out of sorts.  I decided to go for a jog and clear my head.  I took my ipod and listened to my Christian playlist today.  The songs provided an encouraging background as my mind wandered, asking God more questions, processing thoughts as they went round and round.  One song seemed to penetrate all the pondering.  I focused on listening to the lyrics and my heart resonated with these words,

“I listen through the darkness
And I know that I’m not alone
And I feel you all around me
But every time I call
All i hear is my own echo
Your silence says it all
I’m restless but I will not fight
I’ll let go

It’s in your hands
It’s in your hands
I trust you though I don’t understand…I’ll close my eyes and follow your plan.

Maybe one day
This will make sense
But until then
I’m trusting you
I’m confused
But you’ll come through
You always do
I’ve waited so long
To see my sun on
The horizon”

I didn’t feel like God answered all my questions, but he did say gently “You know what, life isn’t fair.  Did I promise it would be?  You’re not often going to understand everything that happens or my timing.  It’s okay to feel sad or even grumpy for a time, but then let it go.  Keep choosing to trust.  Keep looking for the good in all these circumstances.  Choose to believe Me.”

Once again I thought of that helpful advice, “Lean on what you know, not what you feel.”  I know everything is in God’s hands.  I know He loves every person He made.  I know His Word is true.  I believe He loves me.  Sometimes that is all I know.  And in times like this, it has to be enough.

It is enough.