I've always had an issue with fairness, from the time I was a little girl. My parents and sisters lovingly chant "justice justice" when I make a comment about something being unfair. Even Parker has adopted the motto, and I can't even fault them for it. I do get my nose out of joint when things aren't fair.
Since we just moved again, we are back to church-hopping. We went to a new church this past Sunday, and the preacher spoke on the subject of fairness. I smiled and thought "okay God, I'm listening". He talked about the parable in Matthew 20:1-16.
I encourage you to read the parable, but essentially, a landowner hired workers to work in his vineyard and agreed to pay them a denarius for the day. Three hours later, he hired more workers and promised to pay them what is right. He hired more workers on the sixth and ninth hour, and then still more on the eleventh hour. When the twelfth hour rolled around, the landowner gave each worker a denarius. Those who had been there since the beginning were frustrated that they worked longer yet still were given the same wages. When they complained, the landowner reminded them that he agreed to pay them a denarius for the day, and that's what he did. Did he not have the right to do what he wanted with his own money? Were the workers envious because the landowner was generous?
Upon examining the parable, the preacher started with his first point: God is just. In my head, I immediately wrote off the church after that statement. If there is anything I have learned in life, it's that it isn't fair. It's not fair that members of my family went from being perfectly healthy to not. It's not fair that so many wonderful, God-loving couples struggle with fertility while those who aren't fit to be parents by any earthly standards have children. It's not fair that I met the man of my dreams and am happily married while so many of my friends desperately long to find the right person for them.
Then I thought about his statement some more. "God is just". Nowhere in the Bible did God say He would be fair, but He did promise to fulfill His promises to us. He promised He would never flood the earth again after Noah's ark, and He hasn't. He promised to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, and He did. The Bible says countless times that God will fulfill His covenant to us and remember His promises, but it never once says life will be fair. God is, in fact, very just. I take back my initial reaction about the church and am really looking forward to attending next Sunday.
So why is life unfair? Why do some people receive more blessings than others? Why are some born eating from a silver spoon and others on the streets in poverty? We have no idea, and we probably never will. God didn't promise life would be fair, but He did promise He would be with us every step of the way.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."- John 16:33
2014 hasn't been the easiest year. It has been full of blessings, but it has also been full of trials and tribulations for my family. I don't know why bad things have happened to people that I love, to people that love God with all of their hearts. I do, however, know that God promised to see us through it, and that in Him, we have peace.