First Things @ First

If you have ever thought, heard, or even said, 'life just isn't fair', then hopefully what follows will help illuminate why that is true. There have been volumes of material written over the years to help people with why bad things seem to happen and more especially why bad things happen to those who appear to be doing their best to do it right.

I heard Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Church in Atlanta, GA once say, "If you think life is not fair, you must remember there was a time in history when things were fair."

We do not know how long of a period that life was fair, but we do know the place. It was in the garden of Eden where God first formed the man from dust and then framed the woman from a rib in his side. In Eden, in the beginning life was fair. But then sin was introduced through the disobedient response of Adam to a direct word from God and ever since that moment, life on earth has been and is no longer fair.

It was only recently that I better understood how life on earth, life that God designed and called 'very good,' came to be filled with so much heartache and suffering during our time on earth. While all of us have better days than others, there are not many days when something does not occur to sicken us, sadden us, or bring overwhelming sorrow into our hearts and minds. Such are the consequences of Adam and Eve's decision in the garden many years ago.

While most have some idea of what happened on that disastrous day, fewer may understand how all this 'stuff' began.

When God finished His designed work, He enjoyed perfect union with all His creation and the creatures He had first formed and then framed as the crown jewel of creation. During those days, Adam and Eve's attention was singular. Their life revolved around their love for God who made them and provided for them abundantly. The first man and woman enjoyed unhindered and unbroken fellowship with God and life was fair. Life was good! Really good!!

Then Satan showed up in the form of a serpent, which by the way was not the loathsome creature of today and began to offer Eve an alternative. Satan began, as he does today by bringing into question what God has said. Having entertained the information given by Satan, Eve 'saw' the offer of Satan and then shared that with Adam. Adam,(who received the direct word from God concerning the restriction of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) 'saw' what Eve offered differently also. Adam, then took and tasted what was strictly forbidden by God. And the Bible says, "their eyes were opened, and they knew they were naked" (Genesis 3:7).

In the age of innocence when life was fair, neither Adam nor Eve had 'seen' the forbidden fruit as they did on this day. Neither had they noticed their nakedness before God or each other. But now, (and I want you to get this) because each of them decided to shift their focus away from God and toward themselves, then the things in their environment looked different to them. Their eyes were no longer on God who made them, loved them, and provided every need. Their eyes had shifted to focusing on themselves. Toward what they were 'missing' instead of what they had been 'enjoying.' After Adam and Eve shifted their focus away from God, they saw themselves differently than how God made them to be and 'all' that included. Life that was once fair and balanced would be no more for mankind upon the earth.

When you understand not only what happened that day in the garden but why, you better understand why life is not fair today. Life, as we have known it has never been fair. Life has always been filled with headaches and heartaches over the things that surround us. And so long as our focus remains on ourselves, we will not see God for who He is or what He offers. Consequently, life on earth is filled with added stress and unwanted grief.

I believe that describes most people in this world today. They are looking for a fair deal or fair price but they, for the most part remain focused more on themselves than God.

Until Jesus comes to deal with the mess that we have made of His creation life will never be fair on earth. Such is the consequence of sin. However, when our focus is shifted off ourselves and onto God as Savior and Lord, life then becomes a much better experience! O, we will have bad days, but we live with the hope of seeing better days ahead!

And the blessed assurance of His word to all who believe carries us through the sickness, sadness, and sorrows of life.

When life is not fair, consider what your focus is on. Then shift your focus from what you are surrounded by to the One who saves to the uttermost those who believe (Hebrews 7:25).

God will provide you a better day IF you will turn your eyes upon Jesus!

May the Lord bless each of you with a day that is fulfilling even when life is not fair!

Pstr K

Hebrews 10:35-36