When Life Isn’t Fair

by | Feb 6, 2012 | Uncategorized

My stomach sank when he said it. That we would be giving away our first paycheck, because it was a new job and God provided for us and aren’t we to give the first fruits as an act of thanksgiving? (Deut. 18:4)

We were newlyweds. Everything was new. Even this kind of faith.

While I knew all that to be true in theory, reality on the balance sheet said we couldn’t do it. We didn’t have enough money to pay for necessities. My body began to tremble with worry and the questions; they invaded like thieves on the hunt for loot.

Faith is blind and I grope in the dark for hope, to help me see.

I borrow his gift, unwrap the faith of my husband and try to wear it. It hangs off my shoulders, feels uncomfortably oversized but I wear it until faith fits me. Trust in giving away, when fear shouts, “bury your bag of gold while you have it. Hold on tight for a rainy day, for the just in case.”

I wonder about the parable of life isn’t fair. Why God gives some five bags of gold and a house in Malibu with a trust fund, while others wait tables, go to seminary and struggle to keep the lights on with one bag of gold.  (Matt.25:14-30)

But this: When the man gives away talents to his servants, he isn’t concerned about the fairness of the amounts in the bags he entrusts to each one. Rather, what they will do to further them. Whether little or much.

My daughter, she is in first grade and He gives her paper, colored pencils and markers in her bag. She sits at her miniature table and chairs, creates bookmark masterpieces, loads them in her pink plastic purse, asks people to buy them.

She puts the money she collects in an envelope and gives it away to her school. Because she loves that school and wants to help when she learns, they struggle financially.

When she is ten, she travels to Rwanda, sees how the empty water bottle she throws in the trash at home is like a bag of gold for a parched child who needs to collect water. Running water comes from a rock on the side of hill, not from a faucet in a kitchen.

Two years later, she gives away all the money she saves for months to help children in Rwanda who need to go to school. All the money she saves for girly treasures. Insists on giving away the whole bag He entrusts to her, with joy.

Like the man returning to his servants after a long absence, I imagine this conversation between my girl and her Savior. She will exclaim with joy, “Look Jesus, look what I did with what you gave me,” and He will reply, “Well done my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibillities.  Lets celebrate together!”

What will you do with the bag of talents he entrusts to you?

Counting the Multitudes on Mondays with Ann. I hope you’re counting the gifts too! Just taking note of three gifts of thanks each day, 1000 gifts in 2012.

  • For a husband who makes chicken wings for the Super Bowl in tandem with doing the laundry.
  • For the way He always provides what we need, even in the midst of unbelief.
  • Borrowed faith, when the heart quivers fear.
  • Conversations with new and old friends through social networking.
  • The gift of faith, yes this, that I see in my children.
  • Pictures I never saw before. Ones that my girl took on her phone one day on the floor with Winston before we lost him.
  • The way having a camera lying around helps us all see things differently, inspires a photo shoot of the perfect tomatoes lying on the counter.
  • My boys glasses, the ones lost that we scour under cushions for months. We found them!

Linking with Jen and Shanda on Tuesday

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  1. Lisa notes

    “Even in the midst of unbelief” … He provides. He’s much kinder to me than I deserve. This is a beautiful post with beautifully-worded thoughts. I love your gift of writing. May the Lord bless you with much increase from what you are giving here today.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Lisa. I have tried to leave a message on your blog many times and unfortunately have not been able to. So glad you visited today.

  2. roseann elliott

    great post…learning this lesson myself..what do I do with what I have…right now…giving out of a heart of thanks…not begrudging heart…
    Blessings to you…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      We started our lives together as missionaries learning that God really does supply our needs when we think it is a paycheck. Grateful for those early lessons.

  3. Tara@pohlkottepress

    oh, I feel for you as you bend into the trust. Not easy. I love your phrase “borrowed faith”. There are full seasons I go through that I need to do this. And your daughters heart. wow. amazing. Can’t wait to see all the ways your life is blessed by remaining open and out of control,,,

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Well, I suppose I didn’t do a good job of conveying the fact that this happened many years ago, early in our marriage when I had to learn how to trust this way. He has been faithful all along the way. The sermon I heard over the weekend was about the talents and I thought of this time in our lives and then the way our girl has given authentically since she was little. She is a teenager now and still the same way. Such a gift.

  4. Laura Boggess

    God is so good. Yet, I understand this. And how you model the deep–give such gifts of faith to your daughter. It takes true courage to follow through like this when fear grips the heart. Love to you, Shelly.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Laura. This has been a lesson I have learned over and over. When H and I were first married, he modelled this giving away in the midst of what we didn’t have when I just didn’t have that kind of faith. God has been so faithful to supply all of our needs.

  5. annette

    yes to all of this. and having a camera lying around does help me to see things differently. happy day to you 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Annette, in the early years with my kids, the camera was always lying on the counter ready to snap them doing something cute. Then when they got older, they didn’t want me to snap them anymore. It was blogging that allowed me to pick up the camera again and see things differently. Got my mojo back! So nice to meet you btw.

  6. kd sullivan

    Ah yes! What do I have in my hand to give today?

    • Redemption's Beauty

      You give us your words, every day Kimberly!

  7. Christina

    Yes to borrowed faith! So hard to walk in faith and not by sight. Thanks for this encouragement. Blessings to you!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I borrow it on many days but my husband’s well goes deep thankfully. So glad you were encouraged.

  8. Diana

    “Borrowed faith” it is interesting that you use this as I have been noticing lately that my husband’s faith is much “easier” then mine and I sometimes lean on it. I find it ironic because he is the “product” of adoption, suicide, and an abusive home. I on the other hand never had a babysitter, my parents are about to celebrate anniversary #57, and overall my life has been easy. I am learning that his faith is the product of finding someone he could trust, Before Jesus he never had that. I on the other hand am learning to transfer my trust from earning what i need to the God who supplies major grace! My life of ease is because of His grace not my paycheck.
    Thanks for sharing this and the colorful photos.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Maybe it is the difference between men and women or maybe it is life experiences that shape our depth of faith. Whatever the reason, I am thankful God is faithful and His ways perfect, because I am not! The photos were taken at a basket factory in Rwanda. They were dying the strands of raffia to make purses and beautiful baskets. Some with Kate Spade’s name on them! Blessings to you and I am thrilled you chose to be a part of this little community here and follow.

  9. S. Etole

    what a heart your daughter has at such a tender age …

  10. Floralba

    It sounds as if you are writing about me! I struggle with this as well – a husband who walks by faith and not by sight – unafraid to give give give – while I struggle to keep keep keep. I have learned much from him through the years, “wear” his faith at times, and marvel at my own kids who are willing to give and do without a second thought! Bless you and thanks!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It seems to be common, we are in good company. So glad to have you join our community here. Thrilled you left a comment!

  11. Deidra

    Oh, I am weak here. Weak in trust. Weak in faith. Weak in grace.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I find that hard to believe Deidra! But really, so am I.

  12. Danelle

    So it begins with a husband who takes his wife under the umbrella of complete faith in Him.
    And then the fruit of having a daughter who chooses this beautiful authentic faith too, chooses the giving.
    Wow. This made my heart smile and my eyes tear.
    Just beautiful.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Danelle, its all about God’s providence and grace for which I am so grateful. Thank you for being here.

  13. Jen

    Does your daughter not blow you away? Oh, my heart just is overwhelmed with her kindness and compassion. I am definitely one that checks the balance sheets, but I am learning, ever so slowly about having faith in face of impossibility.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Jen, she does blow me away. I often learn so much from her. I just wasn’t the same kind of person she is at her age. So thankful. And faith, it grows as we do, doesn’t it? Blessing to you my sweet friend.

  14. Paula

    Went to Bible study with Lynda while back in OK and now realize that faith is one of the gifts of the Spirit…….and can also see how sometimes it is “borrowed”. So much to be thankful for.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Paula, thinking about you several times today. Love how you go to Lynda’s bible study and get new insight. And yes, there is so much to be thankful for.

  15. Denise J. Hughes

    The parable of the talents is the parable I have probably spent the most time contemplating, trying to understand. Then I come to a place where God isn’t asking me to understand. Just trust. Trust that He is good, and He knows what He’s doing. And stay faithful with the two talents he has given me. Beautiful post.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      That’s what I got from the teaching I heard that inspired this post. God gets that things aren’t fair, but fairness isn’t the point, what we do with what He gives us is the main thing. That is where comparing our lives with those of others is so diabolical. Why so many people get so messed up with thinking fame is the same as fulfillment. Always glad to have conversations with you Denise. It makes me smile to see you in the comments. Thanks for being here.

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