"That's not fair!" shouted my seven year old daughter. She was right. It wasn't fair that her brother had taken the last Nutty Bar, when I had told her she could have it. But it's also not fair that some children go to bed hungry every night. It's not fair that couples who want a child are unable to have one. It isn't fair that tornadoes and hurricanes, mudslides and earthquakes, forest fires and floods level towns and villages throughout the world, devastating people's lives. It isn't fair that soldiers are wounded and killed every day. It isn't fair that some of us are diagnosed with cancer. Sometimes life isn't fair. Sometimes it's hard and painful and overwhelming.
My Dad has a poster that reads: "I never said life would be easy, only that it would be worth it," signed God. God has promised He will be with us always. Always. No matter what we face. He promises He will never leave us, never forsake us, regardless of our circumstances. He has promised to work all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Despite how we feel, in spite of our circumstances, God promises us hope for today, and eternity for tomorrow. It isn't our circumstances that make life worth living. It's God.
Jesus tells us in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world." The apostle Paul adds, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Corinthians 4:17)
In 15 years of marriage, my husband and I have faced a few trials, some we kind of expected -- broken bones and stitches; a few took us by surprise -- my husband's job loss and relocation, twice; the death of my brother, my father-in-law, and several other close family members; a seriously ill young child; an auto accident and permanent injury, and a diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer. It's been quite an adventure, but when I look back, it's not pain or fear, heartache or loneliness, sorrow or anger I remember, but hope. Every step of the way, through every unexpected circumstance, God continued to grow and shape and refine us; to strengthen and deepen our faith; to encourage us and give us hope; to make Heaven very real; and to teach us to trust Him more.
When change happens, we can either fear the worst and focus on what isn't fair, or we can step back, slow down, breathe deeply, and accept what God has allowed into our lives. The hottest fire refines the purest gold. The toughest trials teach us the greatest lessons and change us most profoundly. For in the midst of pain, we learn to persevere, our perspective is changed, and our faith deepened as we begin to understand the depth of pain Christ endured, the amazing price He paid for our salvation. Then can we begin to say with conviction, "Life isn't fair, but because of God, it's more than worth it."
Cindee Snider Re lives in Sussex, WI with her husband, their five children, two cats, and two Shichon puppies. She enjoys quiet evenings, long walks, good books, homeschooling her kids, and lots of good, strong, hot, black tea.