My dad was a decent blackjack player. Sometimes, at the end of a vacation, we were able to extend our time away because dad paid a visit to a casino when we were near Lake Tahoe or somewhere in Nevada. Mom and my brother and I would wait in our family pickup truck equipped with a cabover camper in a casino parking lot hoping to see dad’s smiling face on his return to the truck with enough extra money to extend our vacation. One unexpected trip gave us enough extra cash to take us to Kamloops, British Columbia where a guide introduced us to some great trout fishing.
As a kid, I remembering hearing my dad talk about “doubling down” with a blackjack dealer. Doubling down is the player’s ability to double their original bet in exchange for one more card from the dealer. Doubling down in gambling or anything in life apart from God is never a sure thing no matter how confident a person might feel. God is the only sure thing we can double down on in this life on and never lose because our relationship with Him never involves a bet or a risk. He has given us all things already. Our faith has been fully delivered to us. How we choose to live out that faith will determine the quality of our emotional and spiritual life.
Like many of you, Jan and I have placed all our hope in Jesus. For the last 49 years of married life together, He has never failed to come through for us, especially when we saw no way forward. No matter what we faced and what hand of cards life dealt us, He was faithful. The Lord was never our dealer who played a gambling game with us. He was our provision. That understanding allowed us to rest and trust Him when those two choices made no sense to the natural mind.
A tremendous squeeze is taking place in our world. What some once held in reserve as a financial buffer is now gone. Others have lost retirements, jobs, and opportunities. Still others have lost the most valuable of all possessions, hope.
If you have never gone all in and doubled down on the faithfulness of Jesus, it is time to do so. When everything in this time of social transition becomes fully engaged, fear will manifest in unusual forms. Before that fear has a chance to take hold, make a choice now to go all in with the Lord in all aspects of your life. The Lord will always prove faithful, especially when it feels like the cards of life have been stacked against you. Nothing in this life is sure. Only He is sure, everything else is a bet.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3).