Sunday, 6 October 2013

Why is life so unfair?

We all grew up reading fairy tales, and in all of them, the good guy always gets rewarded at the end, and the bad guy gets punished. It seems fair and right. 

But life, as I have come to realise, is no fairytale. Sometimes life doesn’t appear to be fair at all: the good man sometimes suffers. And this confuses us, it makes us shout “ God, this is so unfair!”

Some weeks ago I wrote a post titled “Heart of Gold”(Click Here). In that post, I talked about a young man called Anthony Michael, who risked his life to save a crying baby from a burning building. He suffered horrific burns as a result of his bravery and was hospitalised.

Many people were amazed at his heroic act, especially in a society where such things are not common. Money was donated for his medical treatment and lots of people prayed for him to recover quickly. Sadly Anthony died some weeks later.

As I read the report of his death, I just felt sad and deflated. Here was a promising man, full of ambitions, who risked his life to save his neighbour’s baby. He wasn’t the only one who heard that child crying, even the baby’s mother did, but the flames of the fire prevented everyone from going in. Except Michael. 

According to him, he just couldn’t bear the thought of standing by helplessly as the baby burnt to death. As if he had a premonition of his fate, he told reporters on his hospital bed that he really didn’t care if he lived or died, that his greatest joy was saving the baby’s life and his hope to make heaven at last.

And that was when it hit me. This man didn’t consider living for many years and enjoying the trappings of life as reward for being good. Rather he felt doing good, even at great cost to himself, and eternal life were the reward to aim for. As far as he was concerned, life was fair because he knows God is happy with him and he knows he has a bright home beyond the skies. 

 I can imagine the peace and quiet confidence he displayed all through while doctors tried to save his life. His attitude was not one of regret, but of joy and peace. His attitude inspired and encouraged many people including his family members. Even after his death, his parents were strong and grateful to God for their son’s life. They didn’t feel angry or sad that life wasn’t fair. They learnt from Anthony that as long as God is involved, everything will work out perfectly if not here on earth, but in heaven.

So yes, things may not always look fair in life. It doesn’t seem fair that a child has cancer, it doesn’t seem fair that a married couple cannot conceive, whereas many other young girls abort their babies or abandon them. 

It doesn’t seem fair that terrorists can attack and kill helpless men and women and children. It doesn’t seem fair that the bad guys are winning. 

None of these things make any sense or seem fair. But like Anthony, we can trust God to bring justice at His own time, if not here on earth, then in the life to come. 

In the meantime, we need to look to God who is our source of strength for grace to carry on regardless of what life throws at us. 

Just like the three Hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we can say boldly “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” - Daniel 3:17-18. 
And also like Job we can say "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" - Job 13:15a

May God equip us with strength and courage to persevere and not give up in this race of life, regardless of what comes our way. Amen.

Image 1 courtesy:
Image 2 courtesy:


  1. This is coming very late, but I am still grateful for your kind comment. Thanks for stopping by and may God bless you dear.