Encouragement From The Word

Predicting the outcome

I was pretty sure last Tuesday’s curling matchup was not going to be a good one. By the fifth end, it was 7-2 for the opposition. Our skip figured we’d play the sixth end, and call it a game.

But suddenly, there was a significant turnaround. We took three in the sixth, and stole four in the seventh. In the end, we won the game. Halfway through, that would not have been anything I’d have predicted; neither would anyone else on the team. But we held on, played our best, and won.

Forrest Gump famously said that life is like a box of chocolates, but I (much less famously) say that life can be like a curling game: you can’t predict the outcome based on what it’s like partway through.

For example, I know people who genuinely feel that God would never accept them because of sins they’ve committed in their lives. I can try to convince them otherwise, but ultimately, it needs to be the Holy Spirit who does that. God must be the one who shows them the way of grace and truth, a way that may surprise them, a way that they may not have predicted would be possible.

I know people who genuinely feel that they have no need of God, because they have it made; they’re living the dream. I can try to convince them otherwise, but ultimately, it needs to be the Holy Spirit who does that. God must be the one who shows them the way of salvation, a way that may surprise them, a way that they may not have predicted would be necessary.

And for followers of Christ, when we come to that place in life where all we really want is for God to do his work in and through us, that’s when the adventure really begins. We might get halfway through life and wonder what more could possibly go wrong – but the outcome will most assuredly be different. The trick is to hold on tight to the Lord and let him lead. It’s not ours to predict what it will be like; it’s ours to follow in obedience. We may not be able to predict what the final outcome will be like, but we do know that God will be with us, and that is enough for victory.

But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15.57, NRSV).

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