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Life. Is. Unfair.

Last night, I had coffee with one of the most intelligent and compassionate young men I know. Will (23) teaches at an inner-city school here in Charlotte, working with teenagers from broken families, underprivileged communities, and marginalized neighborhoods…The lesser-knows in a city of wealth, “success”, and the American dream.

Something you must know: Will did not grow up underprivileged, his parents supported him through high school, and he attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As we talked last night, Will explained to me how he doesn’t view himself as a savior to this community. In fact, from our entire conversation, it seems that this community has taught him more about what it is to be human than the society of comfort and stability.

One of the most interesting lessons he shared is how incredibly unfair our social construct is for those who have nothing. Teenagers are working to support their parents, the lack of good transportation limits access to better jobs, and the city has all but given up on these communities.

As I listened to Will, I was reminded of a hard lesson we all face: life is not fair.

Have you ever felt that, no matter how hard you tried, other people kept getting opportunities that you deserved?

For those of us who suffer with a disorder, has this question ever crossed your mind: “Why me?”

Was there a time in your life that you lost someone too soon, leaving you in a state of shock and confusion?

We all, at one time or another, have experienced the heartbreak of an unfair world. And yet, something incredibly powerful that Will said last night has left me in lingering thought today:

(Paraphrasing)

“We often hear people say, ‘Life is unfair, but God is good.’ And yet, I’m beginning to think it’s more like “Life is unfair and God is good. Maybe the two go hand-in-hand. Maybe God is using these unfair circumstances in our lives to make us more dependent upon Him.”

Wow. I often find myself pitying myself when life is unfair, rather than seeing God’s hand of redemption in the midst of the pain.

“We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God.” – D.L. Moody

What if God, in His wisdom and love, is flipping the narrative of this fallen, broken world on its head? Instead of darkness winning, God is using our brokenness to bring us closer to Him…What if? We’re the ones who brought the fall and brokenness upon ourselves through our rebellion, but is it possible that God is redeeming us day by day through that very same brokenness?

We all hate being dependent upon anyone else for our stability, our confidence, and our success. And yet, truth be told, we are all incredibly dependent upon God for our every breath, whether we acknowledge Him or not. Isn’t it possible that God can use the unfairness of life to make us more dependent upon Him?

What are you going through in life that seems unfair?

Have you sought the face of God, asking what He has to teach you during this season?

Do you have a soft heart that is willing to be molded into the person God created you to be?