Do you like to play games? What’s your favorite game? I like checkers, but it’s been years since I played it. Board games can be fun, but there are other games we shouldn’t play. May we know the difference today.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:3 – NLT
“Trusting that He will make all things right,
If I surrender to his will,
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy in the next.”
-From The Serenity Prayer
There is a dangerous game out there. No, I do not mean football. I am talking about the “What if?” game. We have all played it and it can have some devastating consequences.
There are two ways to play. In the first option, you ask the “What if” question and search for possible answers. “What if _______ happens, then what will I do?” It’s easy to play. Just fill in the blank. What if I get sick, then what will I do? What if I lose my loved one, then how will I go on? What if I lose my job, then how will I survive? Regardless of the question you may ask, the results of the game are always the same. Worry. Fear. Anxiety.
The other way to play is to use this formula, “If _____ will happen, then I can be happy”. If I can just get that job, then I can be happy. If I can buy that house, then I will be happy. If I can fix this problem, then my life will be so much better, and I can finally be happy. But this formula is flawed. Even when we achieve the thing we so desire to happen, it only lasts for a little while. We find that we are not really satisfied. We want something more, and the game begins again.
The problem with both of these games is their focus. The object of the game is turned inward, when it should be directed upward. We are trying to control every aspect of our lives, instead of surrendering to God’s will. We are trying to make things happen, instead of resting in God’s perfect plan for us. Our focus is on the future, trying to create a utopia of our own making, a place where we can finally be happy. We are trying to fill our lives with things or achievements, because we hope they will somehow satisfy our longings.
Living apart from God’s will for our lives is not only futile, it’s foolish. We delude ourselves when we think we can control the future or that our plan is better than God’s plan.
If we are truly seeking serenity, we need to quit playing games. The only move on the board is to open our hearts in total surrender to God’s will. We need to trust that God is a good, loving and gracious God who wants only the best for us. He has a perfect plan that will let us be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy in the next.
Isn’t it time to quit playing childish games and choose a new way to live? As we surrender to God’s sovereignty and trust in His perfect plan, we experience peace, hope and even joy, none of which depend on our present circumstances. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that this would be a better way to live.
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:7-8 – NIV
Father God, we are so flawed and foolish, trying to control our circumstances, instead of trusting Your perfect plan for us. We focus on a yet to be determined future, instead of enjoying today. We imagine future tragedies and panic. We fail to remember that You will be with us in the future and that You will make all things right. Father, remind us of the supreme happiness we will experience in heaven, and allow us to be reasonably happy in this earthly life as we walk hand in hand with You. Thank You, Lord, for Your love and faithfulness despite our childish ways.
In the Precious Name of Jesus, we pray,