A second granddaughter for Terry and I is Elena Brooklyn Branch by Jeshua and Megan. I refer to their child as Brooklyn instead of Elena on the basis of my perceived grandparent’s prerogative of choosing which name to call the child.
Besides, I like the name “Brooklyn” better. Anyway, Brooklyn is two years old. I cannot look at her enough because of her cute appearance and cutesy mannerisms.
Terry and I had Brooklyn at church last Sunday evening. Megan’s mother passed away last week, and after the memorial service on Friday in Charleston, we brought Brooklyn home with us to help out Megan a bit.
Our church had a guest speaker during the evening service, so Terry and I sat on the back row with Brooklyn. During the sermon, she was behaved for the most part, but eventually became restless. Terry proceeded to pick her up and sit with her in the sound room located just behind our back row.
Brooklyn was okay briefly, but she soon wanted to leave the room and return to sit with her Paw Paw. When she could not get the closed door opened, she started to complain, “It’s not fair! It’s not fair!”
Terry set her back in the pew with me. But, then, Brooklyn tried to exit the pew through my legs. When she realized I was not going to let her through, she complained, “It’s not fair! It’s not fair.”
Her words “It’s not fair!” were kind of funny, though we were not sure where she picked up the phrase. But, after church, Terry and I began to exchange thoughts about adults who have the perception that many things in life are not fair, and they accuse God for making it that way.
First of all, God has never promised that He would ensure a sense of fairness in life for people. Second of all, if there are disparities in life, it is not God’s fault or His doing. It is the devil’s fault, as well as our fault for listening to and heeding the temptations and suggestions that he puts forth to us. Remember that the devil tried to create the illusion that God was behind Job’s suffering.
Nonetheless, poverty versus riches is not a matter of fairness. Tragedy versus well-being is not a matter of fairness. Pain versus comfort is not a matter of fairness. The obvious reason this is true is because either of these situations or circumstances are tainted by the will of man. God did not create the conditions for the consequences of such experiences for people to endure.
Rather, God’s will is that we live the gift of our lives with absolute trust in Him. The Psalmist had it down pat when he wrote, “Blessed is that man that makes the Lord his trust.” When one trusts the Lord, fairness is not an issue.
The Lord countermands fairness concerns as He counsels us to not get upset or fixate on to the point of frustration where things stand with ourselves over-against others. “Fret not yourselves, and cease from anger,” the Psalmist says. Rather, “delight yourselves in the Lord. Commit your way unto the Lord. Rest in the Lord.” It is the acceptance of the will of God and dependence upon the deep rich blessings of God where any question of inequity becomes a non-concern.
There is only one matter where fairness is an issue with God, and that has to do with judgment. We are all headed for judgment, and God will judge each of fairly. God can be nothing but a fair judge of our lives, because each of us will be judged in the light of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. That should concern us all. How well are you relating to the Savior?
Brooklyn was glad to see her parents arrive to our house from Charleston later that evening, and sat happily between them on the couch. When Megan suggested that Brooklyn prepare for bed, Brooklyn uttered, “It’s not fair! It’s not fair.”
Megan quickly grabbed up her daughter, and firmly said, “Don’t you ever tell me that again!” We might be wise ourselves before God to quit saying it, too.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.