Do you remember proclaiming this truth as a kid? Anything and everything that didn't go my way was met with a whining, "It's not fair!"
My kids say it all the time (annoying). The funny thing is, they usually complain about how unfair I'm being when, in truth, what's happening is completely fair. For example, no snack right before dinner. I repeat the same line five times over, as each kid requests a snack. At least a couple of them reply with, "But Mom, that's not fair!"
My response to their proclamation varies (depending on my mood, I think). Sometimes I just ignore it. Other times I chuckle and inform them that it is fair. And periodically I let them know that, "Life isn't always fair. Get used to it." Don't you hate that?! (I hated hearing it when I was young, but now that I know how true it is, it seems I can't help myself from saying it.)
The thing is, I can easily tell my kids that life just is not fair when it comes to rules and discipline and expectations around the house. But when the unfairness is brought on by someone or something other than me...
My little man's breaking heart when I drop him off at daycare in the morning - it's not fair.
My kind and sweet daughter being picked on by a couple less kind and sweet girls in her class - it's not fair.
My special needs son being refused funding that he is eligible for based on illogical reasoning - it's not fair.
Somehow, in these situations, my standard response seems cold and uncaring.
What I want to tell them is that they deserve better. I want them to know that I will fight for them. I want to promise them that everything will be okay.
But I can't.
Because life isn't fair. In this world, you will have trouble.
My inner Mama Bear can't come crashing into a situation and make it all better for my cubs. It's not possible for me to protect them from all of life's unkindness. So what's a Mama Bear to do, when her cubs are hurting?
Offer them the only thing she can...the only assurance she has... But take heart! [Jesus] has overcome the world!
As I deliver my "baby" to daycare, I can rest in the peace and assurance that my Jesus is there with my boy, and I can pray God's blessing and protection over him.
When my girl spills out tears and heartache, I can remind her of the Help that she has to lean on and the promises He gives: plans for her, a hope, a future, peace that passes understanding, comfort, and more.
When my young man is unable to experience an opportunity, I can assure him of the equality that will one day come, of the abilities his mind and body will one day have, of how precious he is - today - in the eyes of the One who created him.
Life isn't fair. Thankfully, this life isn't all that we're here for. I just pray that this truth will imbed itself in the hearts of my children...and their Mama.