Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It Isn't Fair...

Photo Credit: Morgan Nati

He stood there, amazed. Slack jawed and more than a little irritated; he was fuming! After a long day's work in the fields he was returning to bedlam. Where was his father? The revelers were dancing and playing instruments, the smell of roasted meat filled his nostrils and not far away a familiar but heartbreaking sound of a man's voice filled his ears. He pushed his way past the partiers, to find his brother seated with his father. Laughing and feasting he was wearing one of Father's finest robes over tattered rags and as his hand reached for another chunk of succulent meat he caught a glimpse of the ring as it shone in the firelight. A ring? The robe? Really? Fury began to build in his gut, fiery and acid with the taste of betrayal. As his father looked up and saw him, he spun on his heels. He couldn't stand it any longer - He had to get out of there before he exploded.

"Son?" His father caught up with him outside the large tent. "Won't you come in and celebrate with us? Your younger brother has returned! He is back!"

"How could you?" His heart pounded loudly in his ears, his chest near bursting with anger and humiliation. "How could you treat him like a king when you know as well as I do he was laying with prostitutes and wallowing with pigs? He wasted everything you gave him! Why on earth are you celebrating?"

"But he is back! Your brother is back - We had to celebrate!" His father looked genuinely confused.

"He doesn't deserve it. I never asked you for anything, yet he demands it all and you give it to him! You never threw me a feast for being the good son... It isn't fair!"

Have you been there? Have you ever watched as someone less deserving got the best piece of the pie? Have you ever wondered if there is justice in this world? I have. Many times. I have watched as our own family struggled, ate less than glamorously, didn't vacation, prayed as our business languished. I have looked up from the devastation that I felt and seen those that are so smug and wasteful, less than Christianly, prosper and flourish. I have watched as others enrich themselves on the soil of our despair... It was terrible. It was excruciatingly painful. It wasn't fair.

So where is God's justice? I mean, we hear about how fair He is and how He will be our ultimate Judge at the end of time. Does that mean that we don't get justice until then? We have to wait until the Rapture and return of Christ to see those that are undeserving get what's coming to them? Well, do we????

If I am waiting for that kind of justice, I hope to be waiting a very long time. I hope, for all of our sakes, that it is never fair.

God's love isn't built on justice. It isn't measured out in deserving spoonfuls based on what I have done for Him or how much I have tried to be a "good girl." Thank God for that! God's love - What we all crave whether we are aware of it or not - God's love is based in Mercy and Grace. I cannot earn it or achieve it. I can only ask for it. The very best part about having Him operate that way? If I ask for His love, genuinely and humbly, He will give it every time. Without fail, God will never deny me His love and His grace. That means no matter how ugly I have been, no matter how selfish, how hateful, how murderous my heart, God will always open His arms and welcome me back to His celebration. I am never turned from His table of plenty. He will never ask that I sit in the corner and watch as others eat. He always has my seat reserved for me.

I am comforted by that - for me. I don't much like it when I see others I judge as unworthy allowed the same grace. Why? Because my justice is skewed, my grace is nonexistent, I am without mercy in my heart. I am human. He is God. I look at the situation and want to view the repentance in action. I want to see that the person is really going to be sorry and change their ways. I look at the outward view of a man. God looks at the man's heart. He sees the repentance where it starts, He looks into the soul and judges there - There, where I cannot go.

It seems too easy, doesn't it? That someone can just say, "I'm sorry," to God and He accepts it without prejudice. It doesn't seem fair or right... It is the same with salvation. You don't have to DO anything. You only have to ask and viola! It is done for you. You instantly become a part of the family with all rights to inherit the kingdom of God. You would think that people would be signing up by the droves to get that kind of booty. They don't. It's too easy. Our human nature says there has to be some kind of ceremony, some sort of sacrifice...

The ease in which you and I are saved from an eternity of darkness came at a very high price, the ultimate in sacrifice. The only person to ever live this life without sinning (not even once) took all of it on for us. He did it all! Christ did everything we couldn't do, so that He could climb onto a cross and be covered in every sin - EVERY SIN - past, present and future! His own Father, who vows never to turn from us, turned from Him so that we could have it so easy.

I won't tell you that I don't struggle with the prodigal son thing... I won't tell you that I don't wonder at times why on Earth God allows such painful injustice to wallop me on the head and bring me low. I will tell you I get it. I get that God wanted it to be so easy that to not accept His love would be folly. I get that if I am allowed His grace for every nasty thing I have done and will do, I have to allow others the same process. God's love isn't fair.... And aren't I glad of that?! After all, I am the only one that stands in my way from attending the same feast - And if you know me, you know I rarely miss a party!

Be blessed... not fair.