“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” Psalm 37: 23-24 (NIV)
I like justice. I like it so much; I tend to choose it over mercy. Be honest—it’s only you and me right now—you like it, too. You like to see the good guy win, the underdog triumph, and the people you don’t like get what they deserve. That is not what you witness each day. The good guy works hard and dies penniless. The underdog doesn’t make it to the finish line. Those deserving punishment receive rewards while those truly deserving stand by neglected.
Life Isn’t Fair
As I read this Psalm today, a number of faces and situations came to mind. Take a few minutes and read this entire Psalm. Maybe, you’ll have the same experience. Perhaps you’ll feel as terrible as I did as I glossed over the deep truth.
I don’t want to wait for God’s justice. I don’t want to wait for my reward for doing the right thing. It’s nice that someday I will stand in the warmth and glow of God’s vindication—that does little to comfort me today. Today, I’m mad and upset.
When I read the first words of this Psalm—don’t get worked up over those who do evil. I have to wonder, how God can ask that of me? Evil and injustice make me clench my jaw, furrow my brow, snort, rant and fume. Then, after all that energy is expended—evil remains—I’m exhausted.
So what little thing am I supposed to do in the face of all this evil? Take one step.
One Step At A Time
My inclination is to fret, become angry, react, and plan and implement actions to squash the injustice I see around me. God has a very different action plan for the believer faced with evil and injustice.
- Don’t fret—trust. Trust that God is the ultimate score keeper, a pure and holy judge and the One who sees all—good and bad.
- Don’t let anger smolder—find enjoyment in God’s love for you and plan for your life.
- Don’t react—be convinced God has everything under control. The events of today don’t change God. Evil plans end up undoing the planner.
- Don’t scheme a revenge—wait in stillness for God’s perfect timing and His justice to right the wrongs.
This is a difficult lesson for me. Taking a single step doesn’t do much. A single step seems slow and ineffective—but what if I take a single step toward God each time I feel fretful, angry, reactionary, or vengeful? What would my life be like? What would my witness be?
Are you ready to walk—one step at a time?
Father, forgive my anger and my sin toward those who are evil and unjust. Remind me that You love those people as much as You love me. Remind me of the value of a single step. Give me the strength to take many single steps toward You each day.