The ball drops, kisses are shared, champagne glasses tap against one another, and hysteria runs throughout the world as we look back on another year gone and what a new year might hold. I’m not completely sure why, but without fail my mind always thinks of the game monopoly on or around January 1st. I have this vision of myself as the playing piece on the game board and when we ring in a new year I’m standing on the “Go” Square yet again. Sadly no on gives me $200.00 dollars just because I made it around the board yet again. Instead it seems like everyone is trying to take $200.00 from me everywhere I turn (I’m looking at you US government!). After I double check that my wallet is still in my back pocket I look around the board to see all the hotels, condos, and real estate I purchased the last trip around the board. Now the question becomes, what’s my next move?
If you have played monopoly have you had someone, be it your brother, sister, cousin, or friend knocks the board over so you have to either quit or start all over? I’m guessing so or at least heard of it happening to someone else. How did you or would you react to someone doing that? In most instances the person who does it is normally losing.
Do you know who else tips over monopoly boards when he is losing? God. And do you know why he does it? Because he’s losing…he’s losing you! So many people look at their monopoly board and see everything they have accomplished and wonder what’s next. But guess what, if your next move isn’t centered on Christ I can guarantee you that you’re about to start the game over.
I had my monopoly board tipped over by God and I never even saw it coming. February 3rd, 2014 my wife and I had our weekly life group meeting and the subject of the discussion was, “what keeps you from drawing closer to God?” When it was my turn to share I simply said that if I didn’t have life group that night I would still be in the office working, so work was a big obstacle in my relationship with Jesus. Fast forward 3 short days to February 6th, 2014; at 5:03pm I was asked by my boss to step into his office and at about 5:04pm he informed me that the company was going to let me go. I had never received any write ups, been approached about areas of my work that needed drastic improvement, or anything of that nature. God just tipped my monopoly board over, and I’m so thankful he did. (Looking back at our life group discussion I should have shared that working out and eating healthy was getting in the way of my relationship with God).
One of the many beautiful aspects of God is that even though he tips your playing board over he stoops right down with you to help pick up the pieces. He most definitely stooped down into the valley with us as we picked up the pieces, and thankfully by March 10, 2014 I started a new job. It was only one full month I was out of work, but during that month so much spiritual growth took place. And the spiritual growth didn’t just come from me. It came from my wife, family, church friends, and everyone that prayed for us because they had open, obedient, and listening hearts for God’s voice. It’s amazing to see God use tragedy to not only grow the person directly affected but the community around that individual(s).
By no means am I saying that going through tragedies is a walk in the park because it isn’t. But just remember who tipped your monopoly board over and that he loves you more than you can comprehend. Don’t scold God and hold a grudge because of what you are going through. Just remember that God is on his hands and knees with you picking up the pieces and molding you into the person he wants and needs you to be!
“The most beautiful pieces of art come from the ugliest situations. So I praise and rejoice in my suffering because I know he has a masterpiece in the making. I aint scared of death nor satan because I know his hand that my name is engraved in.” – Ex Nihilo by Andy Mineo