Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 7- Fairness

"It's not fair!"  Have you ever said those words?  I've muttered them.  I've yelled them and I've most definitely thought them.  I've said them to others and I've said them to God.  I want to share with you my latest unfair moment and then share with you how God graciously responded.

Growing up I was taught that one should go to college.  Going to college was never not an option for me.  And the teaching went something like this:  you go to college and then you get a good job.  I remember clearly that chain of thought.  It was not, go to college, have a great 4 years and then struggle for the rest of your life here on earth.  I'm pretty sure I would have remembered that.

So, I went to college.  I had a great four five years.  I liked college so much I decided to try out three different schools!  I met my husband and fell in love.  I got involved in a campus ministry.  I made some really fun friends.  Then I graduated and no one was knocking down my door to hire me.  I did actually work 25-30 hours a week my last year in college at a telecommunication and utility consulting firm (it sounds a lot fancier than it was- but I had a great boss and I really enjoyed the people I worked with).  But it wasn't the job I had dreamed of and I left the University at Buffalo still thinking that you go to college and then get a good job.

Since college I've had many a job.  I've worked as a barista and an HR assistant and everything in between.   Then I got pregnant.  And I am now a stay at home mama.  I love it.  Every day is the hardest day.  But I love, love, love it.  However, it's hard financially.  I had a conversation the other day with God about how it's not fair that some people just seem to prosper whatever they do and it always seems like we're struggling to just make ends meet and get by.  It's not fair.  I went to college.  Ryan went to college.  Shouldn't we be past the point of this struggling crap?

After I threw my little hissy fit God's gentle voice spoke over my heart, "This is what I have for you.  I've chosen you to walk this path.  It's not for everyone, but it's for you, right now.  Trust me."  Ooooohhhh.  Chosen, eh?  Oh boy.

I processed that for a while.  Here's what I can share with you about it.  I've recognized the privilege of the path that Ryan and I are walking right now- the path where every month we have to trust God to make ends meet.  While it's not always joyous and at times really hard, it's a path where God continually shows up.  It's a path that is stretching me to trust God more and the more I trust it seems the more He just keeps showing up and somehow the closeness of God trumps the difficulty of this path.  Most days, anyways.

I don't know what lot is yours- what path God is leading you down that He's selected for you.  Some paths are cushy and beautiful filled with beautiful things and beautiful people.  They are easy on the eyes and easy on the soul.  Some paths are hard and strenuous.  Some paths are painful.  If you have read some of my previous blog posts you know that I have a very dear friend that has cancer.  That is the path she's walking down right now and she daily has to choose joy because it's not abundant on her path.  Cancer doesn't reap joy.  Cancer isn't nice to look at.  It's hard and strenuous and filled with both physical pain and emotional pain.  But a relationship with Christ, no matter the path, reaps joy.  And in the midst of the hardness of one's path, the goodness of God, His love and His closeness can trump all the other things.

A relationship with Christ doesn't diminish the hard things.  It just refocuses us on what really matters-on what is eternal- that this life will pass and what isn't made right this side of heaven will be made right on the other side of heaven.  God never promised a cushy, prosperous life filled with great and beautiful things.  He never promised us that we'd walk this earth without pain.  In fact, in Philippians 3:10 Paul writes, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings becoming like him in his death...".  The truth is God uses suffering in our lives.  When we suffer we become more and more like Christ.  Suffering is the hottest fire we can be submerged in to be refined and it doesn't go to waste.

Whatever you deem unfair in life right now, you might not be wrong.  You may even throw a holy hissy fit complete with fists raised to heaven.  I've been there.  I'm with you.  But be encouraged that while we suffer this side of heaven the promise is that we will never walk alone.  God is with you.  So, release that fiery fist of rage and let the God of the universe take hold of it and lead you down the path He has for you.  Whatever your lot, whatever mine, let our hearts proclaim that God is good and that we trust Him.

Be blessed tonight.