She sat and stewed about how he had gotten away with it…with all of it. How he was able to hide his sins, how he was able to skirt the legal system, how he was able to get everything he wanted; money, assets, attention, a whole new life and all she could think about was how unfair it all was. Her thoughts were consumed with his actions and her emotions were inflamed with bitterness, jealousy, and anger.
Does this sound familiar? I know it certainly does to me. If you have ever been through a break up or divorce you know what it is like to struggle with things being unfair and hopeless; you know what it is like to have your ex consuming space in your mind, creating negative emotions and casting a shadow on even the best days.
Recently I had one of those days where seemingly everything goes wrong. I had received some bad news regarding some financial and legal matters. Then I discovered yet another “situation” regarding my ex, which left my head spinning in a million directions and fueled an enormous amount of bitterness. Then, the last straw was that the car I had just put a bunch of money into broke down, and when I say “broke down” I mean beyond repair. I felt powerless, hopeless and alone. I sat in my room in tears trying to figure out solutions. I could feel the anger building in me as I rehearsed how unfair everything was. I sank deeper and deeper into my hole of self pity and jealousy.
In my earlier years I would have stayed in that place isolated and alone trying to find solutions. I would have much rather been isolated then appeared weak, vulnerable, or incapable of handling situations. I would have prided myself on my independence and on my ability to somehow make it work. However, I am no longer a person who can do that. I chose instead to reach out to a few faithful friends, explained my situation, asked for their suggestions and for them to pray for me. They had some wise ideas and also “carried some of my burden” by doing some of the research for me in finding solutions. Through their prayers and my desperate cries to God I was able to get some answers, and as usual they were not necessarily the answers that I was expecting or wanting. Here is a glimpse of what God showed me, and what I think he may want to pass on to you:
1.) It’s not fair. God is not about fairness. He is about justice, love, mercy and grace. “I have told you these things that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart? I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He has given us all of scripture to speak truth to us, to remind us that we are his and that one day all accounts will be settled, and that we will overcome, just as he overcame.
2.) You are a masterpiece in progress. Through your trials God is maturing you so that you will be equipped and mature. He does not want you to lack anything! “Consider it pure joy brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4) God knows our journey; past, present and future. He knows exactly what we will need in the upcoming days and is providing it through the lessons we learn in our trials probably even more so then in our triumphs.
3.) You do not have to go it alone. God himself will stand up for you and he has given you people in your life that you can risk reaching out to in your time of need. The truth is we are weak and vulnerable when we choose to allow our pride or shame to isolate us from one another. Bravery is reaching out to your community, risking being known and allowing them to help you. “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing: but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” (Psalm 68:5-6)
4.) His plans for us are greater than our own plans. In my case I had a vision of how I wanted things to be, where I wanted things to go, but God saw it differently. He allowed me to make plans, but faithfully intervened to set me on the course that would be far greater than I could have set for myself with my limited vision. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
So as I sit here and ponder what to do about my car situation, and all the other situations that are so seemingly unfair, my heart is a bit lighter as God encourages me with his word: “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.” (Proverbs 16:8).
I ask that you help each one of my dear sisters as they continue in their journeys and fight their battles. Encourage them with your words and lead them by your spirit. Lift them out them up out of the pit and give them your renewed perspective that includes hope, life, and an excellent future beyond anything they have known to this point. Remind them that through these challenges you are laying the ground work now for all the good you have in store for them.
In Jesus Name-Amen