I came back from college in December after one semester. I was back home with my parents while I prepared to move to Virginia in March of 2006. It was during this short window of time that Dad and I made several trips to Waveland, MS to help rebuild a church that was leveled by the fury of Hurricane Katrina. On our way back from one of these exhausting forays we stopped somewhere between Mobile and Montgomery and ate at Subway.
“Dad, we are in the mouth-breathing South right now.” I observed as we watched some of the clientele approach the Subway counter. We chuckled a bit. Frankly, it wasn’t much different from where I grew up. A dot on the map with no hope of moving out, and no reason to move in.
This turned our conversation toward Virginia. How it might be different. How it might be the same.
He wasn’t finished with his sandwich when he dropped his napkin on the table and exclaimed through tears of frustration and pain. “Son it ain’t fair! I’ve raised you and Zach and tried my best to get y’all to do God’s will, and now He’s taking you both away from me.” And it wasn’t fair. And I didn’t have an answer for him.
I got a phone call this morning at 7:20am from a dear friend who I haven’t seen since my Dad’s funeral. He asked if I remembered something that my Dad said right before he died.
It was around the time when I begin to realize that God was not going to heal my Dad. And maybe Zach was feeling the same way when in tears of frustration and pain he told Dad, “This is not fair.” And it wasn’t fair.
Dad replied, “Son, God’s not running a fair, he’s running a kingdom.”
Yes. I remember.
God is not fair! It is an old complaint. But it feels so fresh when you are the one hurting.
Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? Ezekiel 18:25
God is just.
There are a lot of things about the Kingdom of God that run counter to our human ideals of fairness.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Matthew 13:12
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. Matthew 20:16
I hope that this comforts someone today. I encourage you to read these scriptures in their full context.