A few years ago my husband decided to learn how to play chess. Not having sat down at a board since I was in middle school, I was no help to him. After he taught himself the basics, it became a common practice for him to sit with his laptop in his easy chair and go a couple of rounds.
If memory serves me correctly, his learning experience took place one fall and into winter, then spring. Along with spring thaw comes outdoor activities and camping — which is when Bob’s newly acquired skills were challenged. Incredibly, one of our camping neighbors approached Bob and asked if he played chess. Bob’s answer was something to the effect of, “I’ve never played a person before but if you want me to, I’ll give it a try.” I think the guy was giddy just having found someone who’d give it a whirl. He happily grabbed what they needed from his camper and the game of chess commenced at our picnic table.
I admit it, I didn’t sit and watch. But had I known what was going to happen, I would have. Bob won. Mind you, I didn’t assume he’d lose; that’s not the point at all. The point is, Bob won and he didn’t even know it. His opponent pointed it out to him.
“Who taught you how to play? Are you sure you never played before?” he asked, near accusing.
“I taught myself. I’ve only ever played the computer,” Bob assured him.
“I have never seen anyone play like you before. I’ve never played anybody who begins a game with the moves that you do. They’re so aggressive.”
Many people may consider 2020 to be a wash. Consistent, disheartening news reports (I don’t watch, but sometimes hear from others) seeping into our brand new year, may make many a person fret. But the scripture that immediately comes to my mind is from Colossians 2:15 where it says Jesus disarmed (demonic) powers and principalities and made a public spectacle of them by triumphing over them through the cross. Jesus’ work on the cross is still valid. He is still triumphing over evil. I see this as a time of necessary exposure. When I was praying about all of this rot (covid, political crap, etc.) half a year or so ago, one of the things the LORD showed me was a gigantic spotlight. He said, “Nothing hidden will remain.” Nothing. I see this as the time when evil is exposing itself to its core. It isn’t fun. It definitely isn’t pretty. But it is necessary. Whenever we are doing thorough house cleaning, I tell the girls, “You have to make a mess to clean a mess.” I have seen no bigger mess than this on planet earth in my lifetime so then this must be the mother of all cleanings.
God has said over and over to me that He will not be mocked and that He will have His way. God is not required to disclose His strategies but we are required to believe that He will triumph no matter how great the presumed losses. Absolutely nothing looked worse for all of humanity than the day when Jesus took His final breath on the cross. I’m sure the hordes of hell celebrated . . . that is, until Jesus showed up on their doorstep and took from them the keys of Hell and of Death. Jesus won! When are we going to know it?
I’m thinking of another scripture in Isaiah 28 that says God will rise up and do His work, His awesome work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual act. Like Bob, God will win with unusual moves, moves that we will see as aggressive when once fully revealed. Unlike Bob, God knows He’s won. Truth will no longer be quieted. Justice will no longer be prevented. “When?!” we cry. When it is time.
God is not fretting. Why should we? Join me in prayerful, peaceful waiting.