I can still hear the words thundering through the house: “That is so unfair!” It usually involved something my children wanted to do and John or I had said, “No.”
Often the “Unfair” outburst would be followed by a tightly closed door. (They knew slamming would only bring about more trouble.)
Truthfully, there have been a number of times in my adult life when I have felt the very same way. Times when it looked like God – or someone else – made a decision that felt like it crushed me; or when the life of one of our daughters was taken early. I wanted to slam the door and cry out, “Unfair!”
What do we do when those things happen?
Not long ago I was reading in 1 Chronicles 22 and my perspective began to change. Think of something you wanted more than anything – ever. That is where we find David. It was the passion of his heart to build a grand house for his Lord. It would be a place to honor, worship, and praise Him. But to this noble request, the Lord answered, “No.” Why not? The Lord responded that David was a man of war and the Lord wanted Solomon, a man of peace to build it.
In my humanness, I am crying out, “Unfair!” David committed his life to protecting Israel at the Lord’s request. The Lord even called him, “A man after my own heart.” And yet, the Lord denied David’s greatest request. At least, that is what it could look like to the world. What do we do when those things happen?
Here is where my heart became convicted. David did not argue, complain, or cry “unfair”; he did not justify himself as being a man of war at God’s request; nor did he bring up Solomon’s immaturity and lack of leadership experience. Instead, David accepted that God may have a better plan and used his maturity, influence, and resources to totally support God’s decision. He worked diligently to prepare Solomon and gather the provisions Solomon would need.
Now that shows character! That is the kind of character I want to exemplify to my children and my friends. Rather than question God’s decision, David trusted that his God was working all things together for good. David did his part to support it, and then he trusted God to lead and equip Solomon to complete the job with excellence.
But when I look back on these moments in my own life, I remember trying to keep my finger in the pie. I was not always willing to accept God’s decision. Whether it be with my children; my projects; or my hopes and dreams – accepting and embracing the decision required more trust and faith than I had or at least than I wanted to exhibit. FAITH – that God has a better plan and that He will guide, empower, and direct; and TRUST – that no matter what, God will work things together for good.
I am a work in progress, but I know my God. He will comfort, provide, and protect even in what seems to be the most “unfair” times in my life. He will take those things which are meant for evil and work them together for good. And I know He will do the same for each of you, and for my two granddaughters who are learning to navigate life without their mom.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)