Friday, October 27, 2017
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
My husband, Danny, and I love to play backgammon. Traditionally, we would only play, though, when we were on vacation at a cabin. And it isn't an easy game to learn or master, to which I can fully attest. Thank goodness, over these many years, Danny has had the patience of Job as he attempts to teach me so I can improve my game.
Now that Danny's retired, we are playing much more frequently. All this practice is beginning to perfect my strategic skills, but it's the odd night, indeed, when I win more games than he does. The "magic" rolls, at least at a game's inception, are now burned indelibly in my brain. This allows me to think quicker and move my pieces with greater confidence.
But what happens when those rolls simply refuse to materialize? Frustration, that's what!
"Dang!" I exclaim, after experiencing a trying game filled with uncooperative dice rolls, and getting soundly crushed by The Backgammon King. "Where are those magic moves when I need them? How am I ever going to get better at this game?"
Danny pats my hand reassuringly. "You are getting better, Martha, even if it doesn't seem like it right now. I can have all the strategy in the world, but if the dice don't roll in my favor, I can kiss it good-bye."
And that makes me think, in a Forest Gump kind of way: "Life is like a backgammon game; you never know what you're going to get."
Oh, yes! We can be sailing through our days without a care, saying and doing all the right things, making "magic" moves, when the world casts an unexpected, unwanted roll of the dice onto our Pollyanna path. And if we're not mindful, the setbacks, problems and fears will confound us, disillusion us, and in the most profound circumstances, threaten to defeat us.
But with Jesus as our Master Strategist, we can surmount any obstacle the world hurls at us, knowing that our troubles are only temporary. We can take heart! Have hope!
We can endure with joy because of God's saving grace.
Knowing He will ever help us make the right moves. Those magic moves.
And with His help, we will win the game.
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