Reading my One-Year Bible a while back, I came across this verse: “We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.” (Prov. 16:33, NLT)
Depending on how you look at it, that can be either a really good thing, or a really nerve-wracking thing. It all depends on whether or not you trust The One who’s ultimately in charge of the dice.
For me at this season of my life, it made me breathe a sigh of relief.
Thank you, God, that I am not in control! I prayed.
It reminded me that I could make my plans, I could choose my paths, and I could even make some huge mistakes–but the Lord could get me right back to where I needed to go.
The Message version says this: “Make your motions and cast your votes, but GOD has the final say.”
With the election taking place even as I write this, does that give anyone else the same kind of peace as it does me?
GOD, The One who created the heavens, the seas and everything in them, who sent His one and only Son to die for us because He loved us, who created the stars and knows them by name–that GOD has the final say?
You mean my electric bill doesn’t have the final say?
That diagnosis from the doctor doesn’t have the final say?
Those hurtful words from someone I trusted, they don’t have the final say?
No, dear child of God, and let this sweet truth sink in one more time… no.
But it all depends.
Do you trust Him?
‘Cause it’s all well and good when we’re throwing the dice blindly, hoping it’ll work out in our favor. But what if you thought long and hard, you know exactly the numbers you want to see, you may have even thrown in a few double-sided just to make sure you get the kind of outcome you want… and Almighty God lets out a breath and blows it all away?
Now that’s a little harder.
Throughout my walk with God, I’ve been both comforted by this verse, and I’ve been challenged by this verse.
Begging God to make my dad well, and having God say, “No. Not right now.”
Working hard to have a career take off, throwing my dice, and hearing the Lord say, “No, Lizzie. Not right now. I determine how this falls.”
Asking God to heal a friend from cancer, and hearing Him answer, “No, daughter. It’s time for her to come home to me.”
Once more I’ll ask… do you trust Him?
Because of all the experiences I listed above and so many more I couldn’t even count, I can tell you truthfully that as for me, I do.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a hard-won trust; a battle I’ve wrestled with God many times and one I still have to wrestle when flesh doesn’t agree with Spirit. (Which is a lot!)
But doing this life partnered with God, getting to know Him and His character, I’ve come to understand something from the very bottom of my heart: He is a good, good Father.
He tells us no at times and He says “not right now” at others, but He has always answered my prayers, and He’s told me yes more often than He’s told me no.
And in every instance where He’s told me no, He had a reason and a purpose behind it, and even when I couldn’t understand, this promise has always proved true: He turns everything to the good of those who love Him. (Rom. 8:28.)
Sometimes it takes a while to get to that good. Sometimes it never makes sense, it just heals a little bit. But every word of God proves true.
So one last time I’ll ask: do you trust Him?
If you do, if you believe His Word is true, then ultimately no weapon formed against you will prosper. No true harm will come near your dwelling, and nothing–I’ll say it again–nothing can separate you from the love of God. (Rom.8:35-39.)
…Not even who’s in office.
We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.
The final outcome always and ever belongs to him, regardless of the opposition or our circumstance. The future is safe in His hands, our hope secure.
Thank the Lord that we are not in control!