Have you noticed how obsessed we are with all things justice? Just take the top television programs, for instance. There's CSI, CSI Miami, CSI NY, CSI Alaska - okay, maybe I made the last one up, but you know they've considered it. There's Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Law and Order Criminal Intent, NCIS, and my personal favorite, Criminal Minds. When you consider these as a group, reality TV doesn't seem quite so dominant. We are crazy for tales of just and unjust, right and wrong, fair and unfair. The obsession is passed on from our elders at an early age. Visit any playground in our country today, and you will inevitably hear it over and over again ... "But, that's not fair!" We learn very early to scream foul play, and most of us go on doing it loudly for the rest of our lives.
In fact, if we put forth the least bit of effort, I suspect that most of us could recall several times in the past few days, or maybe even in this day alone, when we exclaimed, "But, that's not fair!" What I find so interesting about this is how it dominates our culture, even Christian culture, but Christ never said it! Of course, if anyone ever had reason to make this exclamation, Jesus Christ did! Born to die, falsely accused, spat upon, mocked, scourged, and charged with bearing the sin of the world - yet sinless Himself. Indeed, He had good reason. As Oswald Chamber's pointed out, though, Jesus never looked for justice for Himself, but He never ceased to give it to others.
Regarding my cancer and whatever blindsiding trial you might be facing, it is so reflex to exclaim, "But, that's not fair!" I could go about my days in a perpetual childhood tantrum (and, I reserve the immaturity to do so on some days) mired in all that unfairness, but ... that's the problem. I would be mired. I couldn't really go anywhere. The thing is, we spend so much of our lives griping about fair and unfair when God never promised fair. Ask Job or Uriah or ... Jesus! What He did promise, as we've discussed before, is to be with us wherever we go.
I'll admit, there are days when I want to scream ... this isn't fair! I want my taste buds back! I want these sores gone! Get this mucous out of my mouth! Get this growth off my neck! Get this tube out of my stomach! I want pizza, I want Cokes, I want ice cream and cookies and cheeseburgers - this isn't fair! I'll probably have a few more of those days. I hope, however, that I (we) will be able to stop looking for fair in all circumstances. Rather, I pray that complete trust will replace tantrums. Our precious Father is good, and He will not leave us.
I love all of you very much, and I appreciate your prayers. I DO feel them. My weekend was dark at times, but God remained as He always does. Your prayers are priceless.
Now, I must ask you to pray for another. My dear friend, Brian Carroll (Elizabeth Pugh Carroll's husband), learned that his dad has been diagnosed with cancer just underneath his nose that has spread into the nasal cavity and into his cheeks. The bone is involved. Surgery at Vanderbilt is pending. Brian and Elizabeth have asked for God's will to be done and for all involved to be drawn closer to Him. Of course, they also pray for healing, but they also ask for peace with whatever God has planned. Please join me in praying for Mr. Carroll.
God's best for all of you.