“It’s Not Fair!”
Preparation: Read Chapter Four this week.
After reading, begin answering the questions at the end of the chapter. I will list the questions at the end of this post. We invite you to share your insights and experiences, and how you responded to the questions. We will encourage one another in the process. You may have chronic illness(es), but you do not have to bear them alone. Let’s be here for one another.
Note: Except for quotes in italics, words in the post are Marie’s.
Let’s be honest. Is there any one of us who hasn’t said “It’s not fair!” when thinking about our chronic illness? If we haven’t said it aloud, we probably have felt it in our thoughts and emotions. Some people seem to glow with good health, strength, and energy. Why, then, are some of us burdened with accumulated diseases, weaknesses, handicaps, limitations, and sufferings?
This takes us right back to Job, the Biblical model of suffering. Job was certainly verbal with his feelings about the unfairness of God!
Read Job 30:20-23:
I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me.
You turn on me ruthlessly;
with the might of your hand you attack me.
You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;
you toss me about in the storm.
I know you will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.
Job actually asked God to come and explain His actions concerning his miserable life. Instead, God asked Job if he understood how the world works, or how to take care of it and keep it running. Job was left in a place of humility. He never did learn why he was suffering.
Most likely, in this lifetime, we may never know the reason for our chronic illness and suffering. Like Job, we see from a limited perspective. If we could see the whole picture of what God manages, perhaps we would understand why we are suffering.
In the meantime, we have several choices in how we respond to our suffering. We can say, “It’s just not fair!” or we can choose a better way. The choices we make will be determined by our faith, our attitude, and, like Job, our humility.
Here are some of Kimberly Rae’s thought about choices we can make:
“The way I see it, anyone unfortunately ushered into the world of chronic health problems has three choices:
1. Refuse to Accept It – Run away from the reality in protest, hide from people, complain, get bitter.
Result: You and everyone around you becomes miserable, and it still doesn’t make the problem go away.
2. Accept but Don’t Adapt – Decide to live with this new condition, but don’t change any habits.
Result: You end up even more unhealthy, you begin to feel like a victim and see yourself as helpless, and you and concerned loved ones are still miserable, but more of a confused miserable as opposed to an angry miserable.
3. Accept and Adapt – Recognize this is your new world and try to learn how to live well within it. You change things – some big, some small – to make the everyday struggles easier.
Result: You likely will never love having a health condition, but you will learn to live with joy within the condition.
So what do you think about these choices? Share your thoughts with us. No judgment here. We understand.
Group Study Questions
To make reading easier, kindly refer to the question number when commenting.
1. Do you believe your attitude is your own choice? Why or why not?
2. What would you say your attitude was when you first started having problems?
3. How would you say it is now?
4. Do you know someone who has chosen to become bitter about life’s disappointments? How do you feel being around that person? Does this attitude make anything better for the person or their loved ones?
5. Did you go through a stage where you accepted your condition but didn’t adapt? Are you in that stage now? Do you see how this is good, but not good enough?
6. How do you get from just accepting to accepting and adapting?
Find someone you trust and tell them about the three choices. If you are willing to hear the truth, ask that person where they see you right now. You may learn some things to help you move forward, or be reassured you are on the right track.