This week I created a not fair list to God. Believe it or not, the list was not my idea. I was staring at a blank sheet of paper and then heard pretty clearly, “Write your list.” For those of you who are wondering if God spoke with a booming voice or with a thunderous sound as in the Ten Commandments movie, He did not. The whisper sounded just like me, but I knew the sound. I wrote at the top of my paper Not Fair List. I thought that I had gotten every possible complaint off my chest last week, but I had more layers to release. If it was the list God wanted, I was prepared to lay out every complaint to Him.
Here is a sample of my list:
- I let God know I didn’t feel like it was fair that my husband and I aren’t parents yet. We would make great ones!
- I let God know that I didn’t feel it fair to see those I love experience shame and suffering in such an open way. Could you please give them a break God?
- I let God know I was upset about watching someone I love in emotional pain. There is absolutely nothing I can do to heal their hurt. It bites! It simply is not fair.
I looked at the list and after writing seven not fair statements, I could not think of anything else. I had no idea what this list meant. It wasn’t going to change anything or so I thought.
Today I revisited this list again. I started by reading the Bible, but honestly didn’t “feel” like reading it. I turned on some worship music, but I really did not want to hear songs about God. I was truly in my feelings. I logged into Facebook and my eyes were open to other people who I am sure have a not fair list. Some friends whom I truly love and admire that are facing the unexplainable as we speak. They did not deny their hurt. They did not only give the beautiful outcome of their testimonies. They shared truth in the midst of their great pain and unanswered questions. I realized what they were experiencing right now was “not fair” either. How can you explain the loss of a sibling? How can you pass over the pain of a terminal diagnosis? How can you overlook disappointment after disappointment in one’s life? You can’t.
This is where we usually miss it.
We want to present the beginning as beautiful and the end as triumphant. Far too many of us skip the middle of the story. We tell people if they come to God all of their sufferings will be eliminated. God will make things alright for us. This is truth, but we cannot deny that we feel hurt as any other person. Being Christian does not make us super human or immune from discomfort. People who are unsaved or disconnected from God need to know that we hurt, we cry, we have questions, and we want to give in. The only reason we are strong is that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
As I watched my dear friends share their not fair items, I saw resilience in their words. Even though everything might not be fair, they decided to trust in God. What I define is unfair is still unfair. God never promised us that everything would meet our definition of fairness. He does invite each of us to present our lists to Him and allow Him to answer our complaints. For me, God didn’t say any of my concerns were fair. He reminded me that others around me feel the same way. It is okay and it is healthy for me to be honest that it doesn’t seem fair. Yet, I too can stand and remain confident in God despite how I am feeling. I am here and I still have a purpose. Even if it is to show others who feel that sometimes God isn’t fair that He is good. His goodness is not in question. I can trust in Him to guide me—even if it is navigating through uncertainty.
Is it time for you to write a not fair list to God? Do not be afraid to be real before Him. He will lovingly provide you a space to release what you have been feeling. He cannot wait to respond to you in a personal way.
Write your Not Fair List. Take some time to allow God to respond. Feel free to come back and share what He revealed to you through the exercise.