Life is Not Fair
June 18, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. - Psalm 19:9.
Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: and look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter - On the side of their oppressors there is power, but they have no comforter. Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive. Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 4:1-4.
Yanyan is a homeless seven-year-old girl who lives under a bridge in Nanchang City, China. However, things could have been even worse for the little girl. Xiong Jianguo who is, 50-years-old now, was searching for plastic bottles to recycle when he lifted the lid of a trash dumpster seven years ago. He heard a baby cry and found Yanyan in a box with a blanket which also contained a note that stated: “Was born on October 15, 2007.” Xiong had pity on the little baby and took her home to a tiny room he lived in with his wife. He says, “No matter how hard it is, I intend to make sure that I raise her until she is old enough to stand on her own two feet. I don’t believe she would have had a good life in an orphanage.”
Life has not been fair to Xiong either. Because his parents died when he was young, he had very little education. Since finding Yanyan, his wife has left him, and their home was demolished so they now live homeless under a bridge. Yanyan says about her life: “Whatever happens, every year on my birthday, which is the day he found me, I get a small cake and a trip to a photo studio so that my picture can be taken when I get my birthday present, and so I can have a memory of the day. As long as it is my father’s place, I’m home.” (China, 21 News 06.18.14)
If you needed proof, Xiong and Yanyan are proof that life is not fair. Some people live under a bridge while other live in $100 million dollar mansions. We remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus that Jesus tells us in Luke 16, “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores (Luke 16:19-21).” The lives that some have lived and are living are hard to imagine for some of us. Phil Collins song “Another Day in Paradise” somewhat describes it:
Oh think twice, it's another day for
You and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it's just another day for you,
You and me in paradise
Oh lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh lord, there must be something you can say
You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that she's been there
Probably been moved on from every place
'Cos she didn't fit in there
The fact is that life is not fair and it is likely that every one of us has encountered unfairness in some way in the past. We know what it is like, at least to some degree to be treated unfairly. Ecclesiastes gives us a depressing commentary on how unfair life can be by saying, “Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive. Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.”
It is true there is much evil work being done under the sun as Ecclesiastes tells us! What hope do we have when life is so unfair? What hope did Lazarus have? In the case of Lazarus we know what happened: “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22).” And Abraham says about Lazarus, “he is comforted (Luke 16:25).” What hope does the little girl in China have? Yanyan says, “As long as it is my father’s place, I’m home.” We have a similar, although much greater hope if we know Jesus as our Savior. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know (John 14:1-2).” Life is not fair, but God is more than fair.
(Please pray for Yanyan and Xiong that they may come to know Jesus as their Savior.)