“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You: And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. . .” (verse 1 – NKJV)
Have you ever uttered those words? “It’s Not Fair!”
It’s not fair that. . .
. . . I didn’t get that promotion that I worked so hard for!
. . . I’m stuck at home with four screaming kids all day!
. . . my family has so many problems and others don’t seem to have any!
. . . we struggle so hard to make ends meet and live paycheck to paycheck!
. . . we couldn’t go on our dream vacation this year! . . .
What’s your “It’s Not Fair!” moment??
I am confident that every human being on the face of this earth has had (or will have) a particular set of circumstances when those three little words will, without hesitation, roll off their tongue. I know I’ve said it. Often when I was a kid and I didn’t get my own way. Even more so, as a teenager, battling with growing up issues within the family. I’ve even been known to say it a few times as an adult. Bottom line: every one of us think that life is not fair at times! And at times, it’s not!!
When I read this first verse of Psalm 57, I can almost hear David saying, “It’s Not Fair!” David wrote this Psalm at the time he was fleeing for his very life. King Saul was out to kill him. David and his men, quickly fled. They were on the run, trying to outsmart the man who sought to take his very life from him. David was hiding away in a cave, and life for him, in that moment, was not one bit fair. Listen to how David describes his circumstances:
“My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men who are set on fire, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and the tongue a sharp sword. . . They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They have dug a pit before me; into the midst of it they themselves have fallen.” (verses 4 and 6)
Yep, “It’s Not Fair!”
And what, my friend, do we do when life isn’t being fair to us? There really is no end to the options. Here’s just a few: we instinctively tend to dig our heels in the ground and kick off some sort of “temper tantrum” because we simply aren’t getting what we think we should have, or what we think we deserve. We begin our own little campaign of protest – not that anyone really wants to hear it, nor participate in it. We have this somewhat crazy idea that “going shopping” is the perfect solution to the chaos we are in. Or we can simply choose to shrug our shoulders, accept the unfairness, and walk away.
I have to tell you this: I have learned a very valuable lesson here in Psalm 57 from David on how to handle those “It’s Not Fair!” moments of life. In fact, David inspires me to look differently at those “calamity” filled times when circumstances are unbearable and hard to understand. Walk with me through the rest of this chapter and let’s have a look at what David does.
Verse 1 – David states, “And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge until these calamities have passed by.” I am a very visual learner and pictures help me a lot to process things. So when I read this verse – – this is what I picture:
What a perfect place to be in the midst of the “It’s Not Fair!” moments of life! Safely tucked under the almighty, powerful wings of my loving God, taking shelter, finding rest, renewing strength, and receiving hope UNTIL “these calamities” (these “It’s Not Fair!” moments of life) “have passed by.” I picture that in my mind’s eye and I simply cannot get there fast enough! Forget the temper tantrum. Never mind the protest. Save the money and bypass that shopping trip. I’ll walk away, yes, but straight under those protective wings that are waiting for me.
But that’s not all David did. Let’s read on:
Verses 2-3 tells me that while he was under the shadow of those wings, he cried out to God. David told God all about his current “It’s Not Fair!” moment. God listened. God took action. Here’s what David said, ” I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.” I just love the truths spoken here. David KNEW that God would receive him into His care and tenderly protect him. David KNEW that God would listen to his complaint – – “It’s Not Fair!” God, that King Saul is seeking me out to kill him. What did I ever do to him?” And David KNEW that God would know exactly what to do. David KNEW God had this. David KNEW all that truth. You and I, in the midst of our own “It’s Not Fair!” moments can know that truth as well. So, why are we spouting off about life not being fair to anyone else but God? I tell you, David inspires me to look at things a little differently! But wait, that’s not all.
Verses 5 and 7-11 tells me that David KNEW God had Him completely covered during his “It’s Not Fair!” moment. God was in perfect control. David could take refuge and not worry. David could let go of all his feelings about the circumstances that were beyond his own control. David could rest assured that he was being protected by a God who dearly loved him. David was confident that His great, almighty, powerful God held this “It’s Not Fair!” moment of David’s tightly in his hand (while David rested under the shadow of His wings) and David KNEW everything would be alright. This “It’s Not Fair!” moment would soon pass by. And so, based on the things that David knew, and from his safe place of refuge, David bursts forth with some worship; He began to praise his great God. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, Let Your glory be above all the earth. . . My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, and Your truth unto the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.”
Does that not inspire you, my friend? Whatever “It’s Not Fair!” moment that you are currently going through, may I encourage you to give it to God, for He knows just what to do with it. Life isn’t fair – but your God is! Your soul can trust Him. He will be merciful toward you. Find your place of refuge, set your focus on the One who shadows you under His wings. Rest assured, your God has this! Relax in His presence, under His protection and simply burst forth in praise!