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Tuesday Thoughts 10-23-18

My social life was seriously affected at a very young age at the hands of my highly-competitive-at-cards father. Because he would make fun of me when stuck with the queen of spades in the game called Hearts (and other card-related atrocities), I have found myself on the outside at all kinds of family, church, and social events when the inevitable invitation to play came up.  One benefit to growing older, however, is the softening of perceived injustices so it is not unusual (anymore) to see me seated around a table trying to eke out a respectable participation in a card game.  Sunday night was such a time.  Diana and I were at one of our regular games and we were down to the last hand.  Points are bad in this particular version, and I had the most but had just gone out with no additional ones to add.  It is not uncommon for the last play to determine the winner and Diana gingerly reached out to the draw pile believing she would not be able to play all her cards and would have to count enough points in her hand to lose.  But on my last draw I had mistakenly started lifting two cards and saw what she would be drawing next.  Because winning is not as important to us as building each other up (you do not want me as a partner if you need to win), I reassured her that this last draw (a wild card) would give her the game. You just felt what she felt, right?  The tension was gone, the draw was made with a smile and the win was hers! Right at that moment, God spoke to me, saying, “I always know the next draw card.”  What kind of difference would it make in your life right now if you could hold that truth wholly in your heart?  What easing of pressure, what sense of peace, what empowerment to live fully and confidently in the moment?  What daring risks (the God-kind) would you take?  Well it’s absolutely true!  And in the same verse I used last week to encourage investment in your present season, we also find his knowledge of what’s next, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT).  The challenges of today will not be a constant.  Change is coming, opportunities are on their way, there’s a wild card in the draw pile and it will transform your junk hand into a winner!  Consider taking up the psalmist’s confession of this truth when you’re discouraged, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16 (NLT).  We rarely get a glimpse of the next card, but Jesus has stacked the deck in our favor, so stay in the game!

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