For four decades, I held my cards tightly, played defensively, and wagered timidly. I sacrificed big wins in order to secure small returns. It seemed like my conservative strategy was paying off, if only in modest ways.
Then my “luck” changed.
I started losing. And I kept losing until I had no choice but to bet it all. With everything on the line, I peeked at my cards. And I panicked. It was another lousy hand.
But I thought to myself, “I do have a Trump card. God trumps all.”
So, no matter what other cards I had in my hand, I tried to play the God card–over and over again. But my Trump card turned out to be a Wild Card. Every time I tried to lay it down, my Trump card seemed to take on the appearance of a 2 or a 3. It seemed always to be a card in disguise, unwilling to exercise its inherent authority, refusing to assert itself.
After a while, I wasn’t even sure what game I was playing. But whether it was Poker or War or Crazy 8s, the deck seemed stacked against me, and it was becoming clear that my Trump card was no game-changer.
I continued to be one unlucky joker until, finally, I collapsed like a house of cards.
But it was only when I was all played out that I began to understand some things.
- God doesn’t play games.
- God will not be played.
- Real life is not in the cards.
It’s not really about the cards. I don’t like all the cards in my hand. But I’ve peeked at your hand, and I really don’t want some of your cards either. But no matter what cards we’ve been dealt, it’s not about what’s in our hand. What matters is that we are in His hands.
He knows it’s not easy for us to hold some of our cards. Remember, He’s not playing games with us. For our sake, He dealt Himself the worst hand of all. And as we hold our unwanted cards in trembling hands, He is right there with us—fully present in our pain and struggle.
God is able to give us different cards, if that represents His best for us. But many times—maybe most of the time—He doesn’t. He works in and through the cards we’ve got. And our Redeemer does some of His best work through our worst cards. Trust me.
I mean, trust Him. He wants to take our losing hand and work through it for His glory and our good.
That’s a win, win.