So at the age of 51 I have secondary cancer. I want to say, “It’s not fair, God,” but can I?
It’s not fair because I’ve never smoked, I’m not a heavy drinker, have always followed a healthy lifestyle etc … so how come I’m the one who gets cancer? It’s not fair because there are loads of other guys who live deep into their 70’s and beyond, and isn’t ‘three score years and ten’ the standard? It’s not fair because my wife is disabled and how will she cope without me?
On so many levels it’s simply not fair … or is it?
What is unfair is that one in nine people lack access to clean water and that every minute a child dies of a water-related disease. What is unfair is that some 30 million people are still living as slaves in the world today, many the victims of human trafficking to our own country. What is unfair is that the life expectancy of those born in a country like Chad is just 49.44 years.
There is so much that is deeply unfair in our world today, how can I complain that what has happened to me is unfair? I have concluded that the answer is that all these things are unfair and that it is OK to protest to the Lord about it.
You see God is a God of justice and righteousness. When Job experienced a pretty rum time he protested to God that what was happening to him was unfair. His well-meaning friends effectively told him, “shush! You can’t speak to God like that.” But in the story it is the friends who are rebuked whereas Job, we are told, had spoken right. You see Job complained precisely because he believed and trusted in the Lord as a God of justice.
This tells me that God would rather that we are bothered about the injustices of this world and the unfairness we see, whether it be in our own lives or in the lives of others. In this way we are reflecting God’s character. The day we become indifferent to what is unfair is the day we become less human, less Christian. It’s not fair, God.
Mark Wickenden, Minister