The Flathead Electric Co-op Annual Meeting is not a really fun place to spend an entire Saturday morning, but that is where my daughter and I trudged off to at 8:30 last Saturday. They were doing a drawing at the very end of the meeting for two $500 scholarships for graduating seniors, and we figured it was worth a few hours of our time to take a chance on her winning one of those.
For the entire meeting I kept looking at the last line on the program that said "drawing for scholarships." We had seen about a dozen cards in the drawing box, so we felt the odds were good for her to win.
I remembered what I heard a woman say before she played a game once.
"My strategy is to pray for luck," she said.
And I thought, "Do prayer and luck go together?"
Should I pray for my daughter to be lucky in this drawing? Do God and odds mesh?
In Isaiah 48:17 God says:
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.
In the end, Jayme didn't win the scholarship, although she received a beautifully engraved pie server that says Flathead Electric on it. I'm sure this will become a family heirloom.
On the way home I told her, "It would be a really, really depressing life if all we had was luck. Just beating the odds by chance. Very depressing."
But we have God.
Luck is random.
GOD DOES WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU.
Chance isn't a someone who cares.
God plans a specific way my daughter should go. A specific college. A specific way to pay for it. A specific best plan for her in a specific direction.
One time I was doing something in the vicinity of my pastor, and I said, "Third time's a charm!"
He looked at me very sternly and said, "We are not people who believe in charms."
Maybe the best secret to trusting God with our lives is to start using language that expresses a trust in God. We need to ditch any expressions that have to do with luck or chance and start practicing expressions like "If the Lord wills" or "We will attend the electricity meeting and see what the Lord does in this situation."
What do you hope for? What do you need?
Do you speak of it with the language of luck or the language of faith?
What a joy to have the Almighty God of the universe purposefully managing our lives. And I do believe he has a bit of a flare for beating the odds.
Epilogue: My daughter will finish college in two semesters, and she has yet to take out any student loans. That's God's doing right there.
Christy Fitzwater is the author of A Study of Psalm 25: Seven Actions to Take When Life Gets Hard. She is a blogger, pastor's wife and mom of two teenagers and resides in Montana. Visit ChristyFitzwater.com for more information about her ministry.
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