The other day I was talking with a good friend of mine and she congratulated me on my months-old relationship with a godly guy. She said, “I can genuinely say that I am happy for you. That’s not true of everyone.”
She proceeded to tell me of a friend who, after being in relationship after relationship, met her husband in a pet supply store parking lot days after a major break-up. “It’s just not fair,” my friend said. “I wait patiently and try to follow God, and she meets someone moments after getting out of an unwise relationship.”
I had to deal with those feelings when my sister got married in October. First unfair factor: She never lacked for a boyfriend since eighth grade, while I had dry spells of years. Second unfair factor: She met her husband a month after getting out of another serious relationship and they married within a year. Third unfair factor: I’m nine years older than her.
I wrote on my blog:
Some assume that I would be discouraged by the fact that my little sister is getting married before me—after all, I have waited nine years longer than she for a godly spouse. I won’t deny that an occasional question of God’s fairness has crossed my mind, but by His grace, Bekah and Ezra’s journey has encouraged me in a profound way and renewed my hope.
I also recognize that He is writing different stories for me and my sister—both of them for His glory. He has blessed her with Ezra in this season, because that is what she needs—or perhaps He just wishes to delight her in this way. And I have no reason to doubt that God can, and will, do the same for me in His timing. I’m not claiming a promise that does not exist. I am only blessed by this outpouring of God’s love and grace on my sister and trusting that He desires to lavish His love on me, too (1 John 3:1).
When issues of God’s fairness in regard to my love life (or lack of it) arise, I must decide if I believe that He loves me. Because if I do, I must also believe that He has reasons for the frustrations and delays. I told my friend that she should view her friend’s Petco parking lot encounter not with jealousy but as an encouragement. After all, at the right time God may choose to do something equally miraculous for her. That has been the case for me.
God works in lives differently, but that does not mean He is rewarding the undeserving while overlooking the faithful. My best advice comes from Hebrews 12:2: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” He is perfecting us. And when we embrace that process we can appreciate the highs and lows that it brings—because the One who knows us best and loves us most is writing our story. At that point it ceases to be a fairness issue, because we’re letting go of our own expectations and inviting God’s best.