Compassion Freely Given: Play the Cards You’ve Been Dealt

Open Your Eyes: Play the cards you’ve been dealt

Life is not about getting what we deserve if it were, we would all be in a heap of trouble.  When my girls were much younger, Missy and I would often hear these words, “That’s not fair”.   That would immediately send me on a tirade describing what I thought was not fair like a baby born in Africa with HIV and orphaned because both of his or her parents had succumbed to that terrible disease.

I recently had the opportunity to see another version of its not fair.  I spent a weekend serving a prison ministry in Houston, Texas called Jubilee.  What I learned in those three days was eye opening.  I walked out of there knowing there was very little difference between my “brothers in white” (the inmates) and me.  We had all made mistakes along the way.  Lucky for me most of my “mistakes” got minimized because of my particular situation, the color of my skin, or some other reason that was largely out of my control.  Not so for most of my “brothers in white”.   Their chance of living the American Dream was doomed from the beginning.  Most grew up below the poverty line in a single parent home where addiction was common place.  Much to my surprise going in I soon discovered that my “brothers in white” were smart, articulate, courteous, kind, and many with a faith in God that I long to have.

Is it fair?  I am more certain now than ever before that life is not fair.  The real question for all of us is what are we going to do with the cards we been dealt?   I witnessed my “brothers in white” loving each other and me in ways that I have seldom seen before.  Many lead Bible Study with their fellow inmates.  I think they know the cards in their hand are hardly playable, but play they must.  Many are making a difference.

I can imagine that Abraham and Sarah felt that that life was not fair.  In that culture the more son’s one had, the “richer” they were considered.  Their heir was a favorite slave.  But that did not deter Abraham because he knew our God was not normal.  He had hope.  Hope and faith are very similar. Hope is the desire and expectation that something is going to happen. Faith is the confidence that it will happen.   Abraham focused on what he had and not what he didn’t have.

Call to Action:  Prayerfully consider this quote from Aristotle as you try and discern where your gifts and talents can be best utilized for God’s Glory, “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.” Sign up today for the Great Day of Service.

Prayer:  Father, help us to become the person you had in mind, nothing more nothing less.  Forgive us when we measure ourselves against milestones that don’t matter.  In Jesus name we pray.

Romans 4:13-25
Wednesday February 28, 2018
Ed Hamlin

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