As the pandemic improves, there is a strange reality. Some are celebrating; some are grieving. Some will get back to normal; some are in a grief process. These paradoxes of life occur.
At the core, is a question: Why are some blessed and others broken? In grief, a real aching of the heart is: it doesn’t FEEL fair. It’s okay to acknowledge these feelings. Let’s look at two men: Abraham and Job.
Abraham is described as a man who believed in God. He had faith. But, he was also a sinful man. He lied about Sarah being his wife and told others that she was his sister, putting others and her in danger. He had multiple wives. He took matters into his own hands and had a baby with Hagar (his servant).
At the same time, there was faith and growth in Abraham’s life. He obeyed God moving to the land that the Lord showed him. He gave his nephew, Lot, first dibs on choosing land and asked God to have mercy on Lot. He trusted God with his only son that He would provide a ram as the sacrifice.
Job is described as a righteous man. He also believed in God and had faith. When on the ground having lost everything, in rags, in the dirt, his wife told him to “curse God and die.” He refused. In fact, he told her “shall we receive good and not evil?” While in the depths of grief, he withstood his friends, who accused him of not fearing God and being prideful. Before his losses, he had helped the poor and was considered wise. In his suffering, he appealed, cried, pleaded to God that it didn’t FEEL fair, yet he knew that he had a Redeemer and he would see Him one day.
But, he was not a perfect man. He accused God of not being fair.
SAME BUT DIFFERENT
Two men. They were likely contemporaries living in the same time period. In so many ways, parallel lives: both had families, both had riches, both had faith. Both righteous in that they BELIEVED God. They had FAITH. But, two very different lives: one, blessed, no matter what he did. The other, inflicted with intense suffering: losing 10 children.
This is a very real possibility in life. One can have STRONG faith and yet massive suffering occurs. Loss does not feel fair at all. Life is not easy. It is true. We are not promised ease. But, God is just. He is the answer to the question of suffering. He allows it and we don’t always know why. Job never had an answer and many times, neither do we. We learn to live without the answer or the understanding of the many inequalities of life.
In the end, what did Abraham AND Job do: they both believed in the Promisekeeper, Yahweh, that He would DO what He said He would and KEEP His promises. He does not lie and He does not change. Both men ultimately were given unmerited and unwarranted mercy: Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin (Romans 4:7). Is this fair? Not really, it is a GIFT of grace and mercy! God goes beyond fairness.
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