Monday, May 9, 2011

"The Game of Life"

Have you ever played the game of “Life” before? It’s an oldie, but a goodie. For those of you who have never played, this is how it works. Each person is given a little car with one stick person in it… YOU. You travel around the board facing the ups and downs of life at every turn. You never know what will happen next. You are rewarded for the good things and penalized for the bad. The goal is to be the first person to make it around the board and to the end.

Recently I played this game with a bunch of elementary age kids who had never played before. It was very entertaining. One boy didn’t like the game so well. Just after a few spins, he ended up with a wife and two sets of twins. He was given a job that didn’t cover his bills and he kept having bad things happen to him that emptied his bank account. Needless to say he wasn’t happy.

Have you ever felt like “life” had dealt you a bad hand? It hasn’t turned out the way you expected it would. We all have our “ideal plans,” but detours tend to come along and mess them up. That pretty little picture we have painted in our minds can get a little distorted after awhile when we face… unexpected health issues, cars break down, family members pass away, jobs fall through, babies surprise us, taxes are more than we thought etc... When “Life” happens, it can become overwhelming at times.

The object in the game “Life” is to make it to the end. The same is true in real life. Don’t let the circumstances you may face in this life cause you to give up all together. God has a plan. He wants to walk through all of life’s difficulties with you and carry you if you can’t go on. He is ready and waiting for you to call out to Him in your time of need. Instead of running away from Him, try running to Him. When life starts to feel beyond what you can bear… hold on!

Matthew 11:28-30 says it perfectly.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (Msg)

We will all face difficulties at some point in our lives. It is what we do with the detours along the way that makes all of the difference. It’s all about our attitude. No matter what we face in life, we have a choice. We can allow it to make us bitter or better. If we let it, good things can come from the bad we face. If we let Him, God will use the circumstances we face in life to help someone else. If we choose to allow the circumstances we face to make us bitter, it only hurts us and will become like a poison eating us from the inside out.

Positive results can come out of some of life’s hardest moments. It is sometimes in the midst of our darkest hours where we truly see how strong we are… inside and out. It is during the times that we run to God that our faith is strengthened and our anchor is fastened tightly to Jesus. Difficulties, hardships, trials, and struggles… WILL COME. Have you had the chance to discover what you are made of on the inside? Facing difficulties can help us really see how strong our faith is in God.

James 1:2-4 says…
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows you its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (Msg)


I read a story recently that inspired me… it tells of a woman who chose to see the positive in her circumstances no matter what. Check it out…

“Shirley is a woman who won’t let her disease beat her. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Shirley went from an athletic and active life (she was a piano teacher and a Bible teacher) to lying in bed with only the use of her right hand and her mouth. For a time, she continued to teach Bible studies in homes with the help of a specially designed car. When her body no longer allowed that, she became a phone counselor for a TV ministry. When her voice grew weak, she took to writing hundreds of notes of encouragement each month.”

Shirley wouldn’t give up no matter what happened to her. Wow… can you say that about you? No matter what you face, do you keep moving forward? Have you looked for the good in your situation? God will use the bad experiences we have faced as a tool to help inspire someone else to keep going. You will be their inspiration!

Is “Life” becoming overwhelming for you? Are you feeling burdened down and you don’t know what to do? Run to God, He will give you strength. Are you ready to give up? Don’t, God has a plan. You faith is growing stronger each day as God is giving you material to use to inspire others on their journey. Don’t let the circumstances of life consume you, use them as a tool to impact your world for Jesus.

Living to leave a legacy!
Julie

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this. Its exactly what I needed to hear. Lately I have been feeling down because I'm just not happy right now. I feel like I just cant catch a break. The last 5 years have been nothing but bad luck. Except for the birth of my daughter. She is the only one that keeps me going. I'm not sure what God's plan is for me but I sure hope he has some good news for me in the future because that would be a good change. thanks again for the encouragement

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the comment. If you ever need a listening ear, send me a note via my e-mail listed. I'm glad you felt encouraged today. Sending prayers your way. Julie

    ReplyDelete