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Rev. Dr. Cecil Clements,
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Home arrow Articles arrow Unfair, Unfair, Unfair...
Unfair, Unfair, Unfair...

She had to have been bothered. Questions of favouritism must have surfaced-again. This just didn't seem right. An angel to the rescue. How convenient. How unfair. Sure she was glad for Peter. And his family. But then… the tears wouldn't stop. What about her James-her Son of Thunder. Her strong Boanerges. Bold, unafraid, ambitious and now…dead. The tears wouldn't stop. Shoulders shaking uncontrollably, stifling sobs that wouldn't stop, she let out a long wail of anguish as the mourners rushed to comfort her, to somehow minimize the effect the news of Peter's deliverance had had on her. Just minutes earlier she had heard the joyful news that Peter (who had been arrested soon after her James had been executed by that crowd-pleasing Herod) had been miraculously delivered from prison. Reports said that an angel had appeared and taken him out of the prison, past the guards, to safety. And when he stood outside Mary's (John Mark's mother) house ringing their doorbell, the church, who had been praying for his release apparently wasn't prepared for this miracle. Humorously they told her that Rhoda, the servant girl had actually shut the door back in his face. Somehow her breaking heart didn't even permit a wry smile. It just wasn't fair. Had she not prayed? Had the church not prayed for her James as well? Then why this partiality? Why this bias? Her James put to death by Herod's sword and Peter miraculously led out of prison by God's angel. Unfair, unfair, unfair!

Are you still with me? Are you wondering if I have been reading the same Bible you have? Actually, laced with some poetic license I've read behind the lines of the account of James' killing and Peter's freedom found in the twelfth chapter of Acts. I've looked at the incident through the eyes of James' mother. Wondering how she responded to the news that Peter had been miraculously freed, while her son James had gone to his death seemingly, under the benign gaze of the God he served. I don't know. Maybe she was able to respond in great faith and with great joy. Or maybe she wasn't-maybe it took her a long time to deal with the "unfairness" of this whole situation.

Maybe you can understand. Maybe you too, have been there. Maybe that's where you are right now. Grappling with a promotion that should have come to you; or the unfairness of a system in which the unscrupulous, the cheats, the ones with no integrity seem to prevail and prosper. Or maybe you're dealing with the news that someone you know has been healed and you, in spite of prayer and fasting and pleading, continue to be afflicted. And you wonder what's wrong, with the world, with God or…with you?

As gently as I can say it, I would say: "Move on." Because that line of thinking is fraught with danger filled with hidden land mines that will blow up in your face, take you even deeper into the "sympathy" mindset and, more importantly, keep you focused on the belittling things of life. And, many a saint has overcome, has arisen out of the depressing ways of self love and soared to make a mark and leave a footprint worth emulating in the sands of time. Fanny Crosby for example, thousands of hymns written through eyes that couldn't see, yet singing: "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory divine." Helen Keller, the first blind-deaf person to be admitted into an institution of higher learning. Joni Eareckson Tada…and the list could go on. But don't just capitulate, throw in the towel with a "que sera sera" (whatever will be will be) attitude. As Oswald Chambers says: "We all know people who have been made much meaner and more irritable and more intolerable to live with by suffering: it is not right to say that all suffering perfects. It only perfects one type of person ...... the one who accepts the call of God in Christ Jesus.

So accept the 'seeming' injustice. Continue to trust Him, Who STILL has your best interests at heart, Who still loves you with an unconditional love, Who can still renew your strength and let you mount up on wings like eagles and Who still wants the very best for you. So let go, Beloved, believing that He cares.

Agapé,
Pastor

 

 
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