I’m blessed to be building a house. But what I thought would be a joyous process, has been one challenge after another. Delays with the draftsmen, the city, the bank. Frustration and misinformation at every turn.
The world of construction materials and contractors has felt like a game I’m destined to lose. With every item I need to select, the games begin. The pricing of materials like flooring and faucets is hidden. Vendors don’t share clear costs. Contractors decide how much I’m charged and when they’ll get the work completed (and then change their minds). It’s difficult to trust what I’m getting. Nothing is as it seems and I constantly feel like I’m playing a game I don’t know the rules to.
It reminds me of a scene from a movie. It’s fall in a large city park — kids are playing, old men are studying chess boards, and a small crowd is surrounding a cardboard box. There sits the con artist moving cups as fast as she can, swiping money from customers who think they know which cup the ball is under. It’s a shell game.
The shell game is all about keeping your eye on the ball, not being distracted by the fast-moving hands and the person moving the cups. But the game is already rigged and each of her customers loses the moment they put their money down thinking they had a chance. It’s a dishonest game and it tricks you from the beginning.
I feel like I’ve been trying to win a shell game with tile, sinks, and garage doors. I want the vendors to be transparent and the contractors to be honest. I want to be able to find a good deal on wood floors, paint, and windows but it seems like the ball keeps moving and I’m getting dizzy watching the cups.
After wading through granite remnants in a fabricator’s shop yard the other day, I was finally getting the clarity and information I needed to make a decision on countertops for our kitchen. On the way to my next stop, the Holy Spirit reminded me that God doesn’t play games like this with you and me.
God doesn’t have a trick up His sleeve. He keeps His promises and His blessings are real.
We might have a tendency to think that we’re missing something, that we have to play this game of life just right, or that it’s rigged for us to lose. You might think God is holding out on you or tricking you — that you actually can’t count on what He’s promised for your life. As if the blessings He has for you and me are part of a game that we’re not playing fast enough or just aren’t smart enough to receive the prize.
God is not playing a shell game with your life. You don’t have to think it’s a gamble to trust Him that the blessings will come. No guesswork needed. God doesn’t play games with how He moves in your life.
I can trust Him to build my house. You can trust Him with the big thing you’re dealing with. And the small things, too.
You and I might need a reminder that God can be trusted. He is trustworthy because:
- He is transparent. (Dan 2:22)
- He tells you His plan. (Eph 1:9)
- He has no other agenda than to love you. (Rom 8:35-39)
- He has good plans for you. (Jer 29:11)
- He doesn’t keep you guessing. (John 14:26)
- He keeps His promises. (Psalm 145:13)
- He desires good things for you. (Rom 8:28)
- He wants to be with you. (Rev 3:20)
- He is your friend. (John 15:15)
I know you can read that list and think to yourself, “Right, I know that.” But do you live like it? Or are you thinking you’ve got to win the shell game to have a blessed life? Maybe the shell game for you is to outsmart, move faster, be better, do more, make it work, hustle, live to the fullest, be strategic, make a bigger difference, get your life together, be one step ahead, serve God more to win the game that God isn’t even playing.
But God tells us in Psalm 84:11-12 (CSB) that “The Lord grants favor and honor; he does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity. Happy is the person who trusts in you.” God doesn’t require you to be perfect. He sent Jesus to make you blameless; He cleansed you so you can happily trust Him and His ways and timing. God may not grant every answer to your prayers that you want or do things the way you see fit, but He will give the ultimate good thing in eternal life with Him — now and forever, with blessings and miracles along the way.
I’m thankful the Holy Spirit reminded me that we don’t have to play the game that’s being offered, whether it’s about building a house or whatever you face today. There is no game with God. No con. No gamble. All He wants is to love you and for you to trust Him day by day.
No good thing will God withhold from you. You can happily trust Him on that.
Thank you for the encouragement this morning. These words really spoke to me—“God doesn’t require you to be perfect. He sent Jesus to make you blameless”. I am so grateful that through Jesus we can be blameless in God’s eyes. May we always keep trusting in Him!
Sabrina Parsons says
I love, love, LOVE this! Thank you so much for this much-needed reminder that God does not play games. This message is perfectly timed, as I have felt God constantly reminding me this past week that I don’t have to try harder; I need only believe. Period.
Ruth Mills says
We are bombarded with opinions & ads of what we should be or should be striving for that changes with every fashion season! What a great encouragement that God is constant & His work on the cross makes us blameless. Praise Him for this incredible gift! He had proven His trustworthiness!!! Thank you for this beautiful reminder! Blessings!
Thank you for this wonderful reminder. And thank you, God, for not playing games! ❤️
Brenda M. Russell says
Good morning Everyone,
Yes, I admit that I grew up getting smiles for being obedient and scoring good grades in school. But I did not learn that I cannot perform for God. There is not one thing I can think of or do to score with God after accepting Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. That’s the best thing any human can do, it leads to the beginning of eternal life. I cannot explain it the way I thought about being a “good person” the way God is pleased with me. No, that’s not how it works. Without Faith, it’s impossible to please God. Yes, all Believers have a Journey in life. But Jesus did it all at Calvary with His death, burial and resurrection. We cannot do anything to add to our Salvation. Yes, it’s wonderful to have Christlike character traits and the longer you walk on the right Path, you will be shaped and molded into the character of Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you truth and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you day by day. Little things matter, kindness ( not to prove anything to God but because it’s right ), helping others without an Agenda, being quick to forgive, being slow to speak but quick to listen with your heart, telling the truth ( the whole truth ) don’t be a deceiver ( a liar ) and keep some things to yourself until God gives you peace in your heart to share it with others. Being a Believer is not a drudgery or pitiful style of life. We are to shine with God’s Love and that draws people to the Believer. Be ready to simply state why and how God is changing your life. It does not have to nail biting and dramatic, just simply the truth.
I think more young people would become Christ Followers if those who profess Christianity lived more down to earth and transparent, even with your mistakes and bad choices. Yes, we sometimes even do wrong (sin) and go back to our old lifestyle. At that time, we ask God to help us. Ask for forgiveness and start again. If a person really wants to repent and completely change his or her way of thinking and replace the wrong things in their heart, God will certainly help that person. His Word says He will never leave us (Believers) and He will never forsake us. Take God at His Word, trust and obey because that’s the only way.
Enjoy your day.
Until next time . . .
Your Sister in Christ
Kathy Cheek says
I am so glad God is a firm foundation and steady anchor in a world that does feel like a shell game every day! He is worthy of our trust!
Dawn Ferguson-Liitle says
Thank you Stephanie for this excellent post you wrote. It is so good to know God is there for us and we can’t stop God loving us no matter what. Yes God does not play games. God is there for us. There are people in our world today who play games with their lives and don’t give God even a second chance. They say to themselves God or no one will tell me what to do. It my life and I will live it my way doing what I want. That is very sad. As they don’t stop to think without God they not have life in this earth. As it was God who choose the Parents we have. It God who wakes us up to enjoy another day in his beautiful world. It God who sent his son to die for us. So we are to stop and think about all theses things. Be thank full on to God. People can play games with our lives. We can get annoyed with them for doing so. But God never as he loves us to much and he only want his best for for us and for us to trust him at all times. But if we do things outside the will of God especially if saved. God will not let us away with them. Like a parent when a child’s does not do as it is told and disobeys his parents. Not doing as they are told. A good loving parents will let them know they have done wrong and disapline them in love to teach them they have done wrong and did not listen to their parents. So as they the Child will learn from it and never do it again. Our Heavenly Father does the same for us when we don’t obey him and do something we know is wrong in his eyes. Our Heavenly Father will disaplaine us and let us know we have done wrong. To help us repent of it and not do it again and live as he wants us to live and live as his words tells us. So in times when we do things that God does not want us to do. He will not play Games with us and let us go in doing the wrong. Like a good parent he will disaplaine us in Love so as we learn from our mistakes and not do it again. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx
Janet Williams says
Ariel Krienke says
I love this!!! God doesn’t play games so we can trust him above all. Thank you Lord for being trustworthy and totally loving us.
Soooo timely!!! You are def a conduit for Father talking to me- many thanks for writing this! Ps – hire my husbands company to build a home for you … building a home is supposed to be an enjoyable experience! So sorry you are in the muck of construction 🙁
Nancy Ruegg says
God can be trusted–a statement of few words with big impact. And when placed alongside your recent experiences with vendors and contractors, etc., Stephanie, the truth of it is all the more monumental. Thank you for corralling our fears, frustrations, and stress with this glorious reality!
Beth Williams says
Sorry for all the troubles you are having getting your house built. Prayers for smoother times ahead.
Roughly seven years ago I put my dad in a geriatric psych unit at hospital. I was nervous & anxious. Spent many hours in lobby crying asking God to “fix it” one way or the other. After one month God gave me back my dad better than he was before. It was at that moment I knew instinctively that I could trust God no matter what!! Fast forward three years I was working part-time & they suddenly let me go. I was excited & left the office happy thinking “God has something bigger & better in store for me.” Sure enough two weeks later I was working part-time (no benefits) as ICU Step Down clerical at a large hospital. I loved that job. Fast forward two years & God did it again. This time he gave me a full-time (benefitted) ICU clerical position-one they wrote just.for.me. It may take time & lots of prayer but God can certainly be trusted!! We must believe that He cares & loves us immensely!! Trust Him day by day hour by hour. Watch & see what He will do for you!
Grace N. Kozuska says
I just finished writing a long e-mail about my life’s troubles
& tribulations, & not knowing that much about an I-pad
Computer….I pressed the wrong button & It was all erased.!!!
Any ways it mostly said “I do truly believe God, all the Saints
& Angels with him,
up in Heaven helping him, to help us
Every Day when our lives are in Great Turmoil.
I will Always Believe That He Loves Me & Will Always Be There
For Me…..I will never be alone again,
Life is Great & will always be Great…..
My Birthday is in a few weeks….I will be turning 81 years old.
I am hoping I will still have many more years enjoying my
Life here on Earth!!!