Just Deserts 

When my son was growing up, I would often hear him say to me: “It’s so unfair,” when he wanted something that was against the rules that I established with him. I can’t tell you how many times I heard those words from him. He wanted me to see things from his perspective, and of course, he wanted me to change my mind about the decisions that I made. He didn’t much like a lot of the decisions that I made for him. For instance, he didn’t like that I wouldn’t let him go over to a new friend’s home, without me meeting that friend’s parents first – in his mind that said that I didn’t trust him. What he didn’t understand at the time was that my personality and character and his were very different. 

If I were to describe my personality to you I would tell you that I have a very strong sense of right and wrong – a strong moral code and I seldom, if ever, waive my moral code. I also have a tendency to see things in either black and white view – meaning that when I believe that something is wrong, there’s no in between (or gray areas) for that conviction. I value honesty and integrity, and I abhor lies, manipulation, and mind games. I believe that it’s very important for society to have rules and laws, and I believe that everyone needs to follow the rules. I am very loyal to others who have the same convictions that I have. The upside to these traits is that I have strength of character and am practical, honest, organized, committed, responsible, hard-working, and orderly. The downside to these traits is that I can be rather stubborn, inflexible, direct (and therefore sound insensitive), and I tend to take on more responsibility than I should. And, I expect everyone to pull their own weight. 

It is safe to say that justice is very, very important to me. It drives me crazy when people don’t follow the rules, or manipulate the rules in their favor. You’ll most likely hear me say “that’s not fair,” if I encounter one set of rules for you and an entirely different set of rules for me. If it applies to me, it applies to you. When I see someone else profiting at the expense of another, or I see someone else taking advantage of others, you’re likely to see a strong reaction from me. When things are not fair, I want to set things right, and if I cannot set things right, I may work to find the person or persons who can set things right, or I just might stew over it. I want to see others get their just deserts (someone getting precisely just what they deserve), and I want it to happen right away. 

So, waiting on God to set things right can be a very difficult thing for me to do. But, ever so slowly, over the years, I came to the realization that I don’t always have to be in control of every situation. I have learned that God’s version of meting out justice, and His timing for doing so, is better than when I’ve taken matters into my own hands. God’s sense of justice is so much greater than mine, and so is His mercy. He has the perfect blend of justice and mercy, me not so much. And, I have to say that it’s so much more rewarding to see God bring about the resolution to those things that get under my skin. God has taught me that He always works out a situation to His end. The realization that I don’t have to be the one responsible for dispensing justice all the time, is rather freeing and refreshing. 

If we let Him, God uses us in ways that bring about His purpose and His glory. He’s done that in and through me when I wait on Him, when I let Him direct me on the way that I should go. When we stop and listen to His voice, when we step aside and get out of the way, when we follow His direction, He relieves us of the pressures that we put on ourselves, and brings about His perfect solution. 

“Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.” (Isiah 3:11, ESV)

“Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends.” (Psalm 7:14-16, ESV)

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21, ESV)

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