We were playing Yahtzee as a family Sunday night. It was a really good fun game except our daughter (who knows how to play) for some reason seemed to think it was a good idea to roll for a large straight every single time it was her turn. Most of realize this is a bad idea, and that it would be better to just take a zero on that line and hope for good rolls everywhere else.
Despite my advice to keep different options each time, she still chose to follow her gut feeling to go for the large straight. Each and every time she failed to get a large straight her face would fall and her mood darkened. Our normally very chipper and delightful daughter had turned into a sour puss. I kept trying to tell her to just keep rolling. It doesn’t matter as much that you got a bad roll as it does where you play it now that you have it.
So often in life we feel like we are dealt a bad hand. Maybe we did the best we could with what we were dealt but no matter where we played it, we just couldn’t come up with the points we needed. Maybe we kept trying for something that just wasn’t obtainable and we should have kept rolling for something different.
When we find ourselves in these bad situations, often it matters more what we do in response to the fact we’ve found ourselves here than the fact that this is where we are. Do you keep rolling for something else or do you turn into a sad face seeking empathy from everyone who crosses your path? Do you allow this moment to forever determine who you are, and how you act?
I’ve met many people that used their past experiences as an excuse to treat others badly. Last spring one parent at my children’s school use her past as an explanation as to why she was bullying my son. She was in and out of ten foster homes as a child. She indicated she had a bad mother and was physically abused.
My response was to offer forgiveness and empathy not acceptance that this was a valid apology. My mother was schizophrenic. My step brother was murdered at the age of 11. My daddy was a Vietnam veteran and alcoholic. If you want to talk about abuse we could get into issues with my first marriage.
These thing were horrible hands to be dealt. Ultimately the experiences that came from each situation do affect who I am and I could allow them affect how I react to others. However they are done, they are gone they are past. There are many aspects of my life that are so painful I prefer not to ever mention they occurred.
As a Christian and a Christ follower I feel compelled to not allow my past circumstances affect who I am today and where I am going tomorrow. I recognize that Gods plans are bigger than me and that every single one of these things may have been bad but they led to a blessing I could never have comprehended on my own. I feel that if I am not showing the love of Christ to each and every person I encounter then I am not doing the best job of following Christ that I can be.
When we are wronged we are charged to forgive as we have been forgiven. We are to shows Gods love in hope that the person may also come to the saving knowledge we already possess. We are to keep rolling with faith in God that he will use are circumstances that enemy meant for evil to do good. If we are dwelling on the past hands that we perceive as dragging us down then we can never reach our full potential in life or our walk wth God.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. ”Matthew 6:14 NIV
My prayer and challenge for you is to take the bad situation you are in and make it into something better. Allow God to work in your life. Maybe you need to give the benefit of the doubt more often. Maybe your holding a grudge that it’s time to let go off and forgive. Forgiving doesn’t mean that it’s ok or that your going to forget, or even that your healed. It simply means your not going to hold on to it anymore. Let go and let God heal your heart and shape your circumstance into a blessing your never imagined.