Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Not Fair

This Tuesday thru Thursday, focus will be on three key principles of the Christian life.

"Wealth consists not in the abundance of our possessions,
but in the fewness of our wants."
~ Unknown

Not Fair

"Your Father in heaven ... makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."
~ Matthew 5:45 (NKJV)

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)

Yet again, I knew the topic of today’s post well in advance. Yet again, the Lord gives me the message afresh in the day I write it.

Yesterday my children expressed disappointment for what they perceive they lack. But they knew better than to cry "Not Fair," because I’ve explained countless times that God is certainly not fair.

The Lord does not give to us with the measure we deserve—as He would if He were fair. He instead blesses us when we’ve cursed Him. He repays our evil with good. He returns our apathy with love.

Jesus is the only Man Who might have legitimately said, "Not fair." The Son pleaded, "Abba, take this cup from me. Yet not my will but Yours." The Father said, "No. I will not take from You the cup of My wrath. You will die for sin committed by others, that they might live for Me and bring Me glory."

The unspoken argument against "Not fair" did not prevent my sympathy with my children’s frustration in perceiving their upbringing a little different than some of their peers. I remember well my own childhood lament to God of "Why me?" because I felt despair in being something other than "normal."

So yesterday I spoke to my children not of the material wealth I’ve often described in comparison to others. I instead explained the many opportunities they have and that I did not. I found myself in tears when I told them that their imperfect parents will fail to give them what they might like. But they will know the Lord. They will have the knowledge needed to excel in life. They will be equipped as they’ve been gifted.

They graciously received my words. But my heart remained heavy, because I do not want our children to grow up perceiving themselves in want of even non-material wealth. I want them to find the same contentment I have regardless of how "normal" or not their own lives prove to be.

In His goodness, the Lord brought to mind words I’d read just hours earlier by my esteemed friend Billy Coffey, in a post titled "It’s Never Easy Being Normal." I had commented on his post in jest that pandemonium would break out among my children if the claim of "normal" came from the mother who is anything but.

Then the Lord whispered that in this life, it is indeed normal to experience hardship, injury, and loss. It is normal to feel loneliness, inadequacy, and turmoil. It is normal to be a gratuitous sinner in need of gratuitous grace. My God reminded me of plans to share that the world only claims it wants "fair" from the Father Who is anything but.

I felt depth of gratitude for my Lord and Savior, that He has given me such great material and spiritual wealth both.

And I felt that maybe, I'm normal* after all.

Dear Lord, You've chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, the weak things to put to shame the mighty, base and despised things to bring to nothing things that are. Thank You for defining "fair" and "normal" on Your terms, not ours. I love you so much.

*(but not too much :D)

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. OK, I admit it. I cried 'not fair' today, albeit a brief and fleeting moment. I was so caught off guard I mentioned my quasi beef to my husband and children later that day. Funny you should mention this very topic.

    Also, after losing my luggage I found sleep eluded me the other night and the thought occurred to me in perfect clarity I would never be free of turmoil in this life. Just a constant stream of some sort of drama (hopefully mild) to rock the boat just enough until I set foot on heaven's shore. Of course I claimed I knew this lol, but it did stun me to digest this truth. Thank goodness the Lord was right there reassuring me He would be there every step of the way.

    Max Lucado quotes a friend in his new book Fearless saying "all's well that ends well and if it isn't ending well, it isn't the end."

    I wholeheartedly agree.

  2. Anne, your heart is pouring out here, and your description of "normal" hit the bulls-eye.

    "Not fair" equals the triumph of love over justice.

    The fact that we are forgiven does not mean that our sins were forgotten. It means someone else, Jesus, paid for our sins...

  3. I definitely see your heart in this post sweetie. Such a great post, bless you.

  4. No words to add. Only tears--this really touched me.

    God bless you, friend.

  5. Anne - This a heart-felt truth that many of us want to hide from. Life is not fair, and it is usually hard work. Yes, this is "normal" but we are constantly trying to trade up. Sometimes, it is good to settle. With God.
    Thanks again for a great post.

  6. I want to be all about HIS kind of normal. I love your transparency Anne.
    ~ Wendy

  7. A painful conversation faced beautifully. Thank you, Anne. C.S. Lewis said that he doesn't know why we are surprised when good people have sorrows and pain--we should be more surprised when they don't.

  8. Oh, so very nice.

    I love that asterick, girl.

    I was really struck, too, by your opening comment: "Yet again, I knew the topic of today’s post well in advance. Yet again, the Lord gives me the message afresh in the day I write it."

    Isn't that something, when you know that God is working even as you type the words? You are so God-gifted for this, Anne. God bless you, sister.

  9. Much better said than would be possible with me. Lovely, Annie.

  10. I was indeed touched by this post! Tks Anne. Let us all be praisers of God and not moaners of problems as receivers of God's ever goodness!

  11. "But they will know the Lord." In doing that you have done everything.

    Thank you.

  12. T. Anne, I haven't finished Fearless yet. I LOVE this quote! I suspect it will show up here in the not-too-distant future. Thanks for passing this along.

    Russell, as much as I'm grateful for the Lord 'xplainin "fair" and "normal," they can both make a soul weary in the new ways they crop up.

    Denise, I'm so glad you're here. Hope you're feeling well, sweetheart. Love you!

    Gwen, He does bless me, and so do you!

    Brad, "sometimes it is good to settle"? Ooooh. That's good. Thanks!

    Wendy, since I just discovered this "normal" thing, it's going to take me a bit to wrap my mind (and heart) around it.

    Rosslyn, I certainly understand the place from which C.S. Lewis spoke. Thanks for sharing.

    Jennifer, thank you for acknowledging Him in the gift. The asterisk? Can't be TOO normal, don't you know. God bless you too. I'll come singing around your place one of these days again!

    Billy! Much better? I'm honored that a writer of your calibre would say so, but I must protest such flattery. How would I have written this without your lovely words? Thank YOU.

    Bible Lover, I'm grateful to know you've been touched. Amen about praising not moaning!

    Doug, they'll know. But I don't stop praying that in their knowledge they'll love Him too.


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