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Daily Devotion

Life is Like a Deck of Cards

By Lori D'Augostine
Guest Writer -- Now put on your Forrest Gump accent ... Life is like a deck of cards. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Sometimes I like to hide my cards. We all do. We put on our poker faces and x-ray the deck of our opponent, while ignoring the hand we’ve been dealt.

I think that’s called cheating in the game of cards. But, not so in the game of life... or is it?

The Bible says to examine our own deck first:

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3, NIV)

Do you have the Ace of Spades? Do you take pride in your position? Or are you stuck with meaningless cards that won’t earn you any points or help you take the lead?

We never know what we’re gonna get. Sometimes the cards may seem unnecessary, but all the while they are filling our hand and keeping us in the game.

Don’t quit. You haven’t lost yet. In fact, you won’t lose in the game of life, if you keep your eyes on your own cards first.

Be thankful for the hand you've been dealt and work with them. Don't let those cards work you. It's not about what you've been dealt, but what cards you choose to put down.

That’s something my Uncle used to teach me. I was a very competitive card shark as a youngster and often tried to outwit my opponents by trying to figure out what cards were in their hands. That never worked.

Jesus often spoke in parables, and He didn’t just leave his audience riddled. He often explained the meaning of the parable. I will now attempt to bring practical meaning and spiritual application.

The deck of cards represent blessings and trials, worldly goods and eternal treasures. Some of you have been dealt sickness and job-loss, heartache and betrayal. Not all of your cards are losing cards. Look at the rest of your deck. You have cards that can help you win. They are the lowly cards. At first glance, you may not think that they carry a lot of weight, but they do.

I look at my life, and I know that I have eternal treasures: love, faith, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I often take them for granted. Yet, these outweigh worldly goods. I don't have a lot of tangible stuff like wealth and fame, but according to the Bible I couldn't hold on to those cards forever. I can't take them with me to Heaven.

The blessings outnumber the trials as well:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
      for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
      for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
      for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
      for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
      for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
      for they will be called sons of God.
 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
(Matthew 5:3-10, NIV)

These kinds of blessings cards earn you the most points! These lowly cards give me heaven, comfort, the earth, fullness, mercy, vision of God, an inheritance as a child of God, and the kingdom of Heaven. Now those are cards worth keeping. You might want to keep your eyes on them.

So, look harder and take notice of the hand you have been dealt. If you are a Christian, you are undefeated -- the reigning, champion card shark for life and beyond! Now take off that poker face and SMILE.

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