Taking a risk with what’s in our hand

I was sitting with my in-laws around my own kitchen table when it hit me.

I’m afraid to fail.

It was a simple game of Rook — the game my husband was raised on. His family has played this game for decades. I only married into this ongoing game and I really only play when they need a fill-in. They are pros and I’m just a light-weight add-on.

So a heavy weight laid on my shoulders and I felt very small and insecure when it was my turn to lead out with that first card.

It wasn’t so much about whether I laid the wrong card messing up my own score but it was failing my partner and messing up their score.

I can follow suit or trump-in with confidence because someone else has already laid the first card. The direction is given and I just have to follow suit. But to set the direction and lead out, that’s uncomfortable.

I found myself repeatedly saying, “I hate to lead.” Which of course, those around the table would respond with, “Just lay something…it doesn’t matter. It’s just a game.” But in my mind, it did matter. Others were looking to me and depending on me. My actions would affect my team’s score… and what if I failed?

Leading out based only on what is in my own hand is scary.

Looking at the lack of good cards in my own hand scares me and the longer I think about it, the more scenarios of failure come up in my head. I talk myself out of going forward before I even get started.

I think what I hold in my hand is not good enough so I speak out the words, “Pass” and the opportunity is gone.

It can be intimidating and scary to step out into something new and take the lead in a new direction.

When God called Moses to head back to Egypt and rescue His people, Moses was afraid.

God encouraged him by asking, “What is in your hand?”

Moses didn’t see anything special just his own staff, carved and fashioned with his own hands… nothing special, just an ordinary walking stick.

Yet with God, that ordinary staff… that simple piece of wood… revealed God’s way of deliverance for His people.

In the game of Rook, I may feel intimated by those around the table yet I’ve learned to lean on my partner. My father-in-law is excellent at this. We tend to get partnered together and I’ve learned to trust him in the game.

When I have the guts enough to take the bid and call the trump, I know he is in this with me. There’s never any “What were you thinking?” or “Why would you play that?” instead it’s a working together to see if we can pull off a win.

In this life, God partners with us. He doesn’t sit across from us and say, “What were you thinking?” or “Why would you play that card?”

At times, I might play the wrong card and I might not lead with the best card in my hand yet that is where His grace steps in and He works with us to bring about the win… the good.

 We might think that what we hold is just ordinary and not really that significant. Yet when God works through it, He pulls off some amazing wins.

Being on God’s team isn’t a game of chance that we play alone. He knows what’s in our hand and the best way to play it out. God partners with us to accomplish His purpose.

Partner with His PurposeIn 2 Timothy 1:6-7, Paul encourages Timothy,

Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

This year, as we step out into new areas of trusting Him, let’s take some risk.

It can be scary and intimidating… this whole thing of stepping out and playing the lead card. We can be afraid to fail. Yet we can trust Him and His direction, believing He honors our steps of faith.

We win when we hold onto Psalm 37:23-24.

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though we may stumble, we will not fall for the Lord upholds us with His hand.

We can lose heart looking only at our own hand but we find courage when we look to the One who upholds us with His hand!

So today, what is in your hand? What are you holding that God wants to work through to make a win for His purpose?

*Linking up with
 purposefulfaith.com

22 thoughts on “Taking a risk with what’s in our hand

  1. “We can lose heart looking only at our own hand but we find courage when we look to the One who upholds us with His hand!” Amen. I love this message, the verses and so very thankful for the reminder that “His grace steps in”. This encouraged me today! Thank you!

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  2. Love this and it’s just what I needed to hear today. Our world seems to only reward successful risk taking but is really tough when you fail. And failure is necessary to hone us for success. You reminded me to look at things with God’s eyes:). Thank you.

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    • Thank you! That’s exactly it! I might fail in stepping out but each time I step out I learn something that will help me next time. It’s a hard lesson I’m working on! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  3. Rachel, I totally get this. I am right there with you. I am starting to realize that it is more about the trying, because then I am stepping out in faith, verses the outcome. Thank you so much for encouraging me in this journey and for getting me thinking. I am so cheering your wisdom and your way with words. Thanks for joining the #RaRalinkup!

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  4. “Being on God’s team isn’t a game of chance that we play alone. He knows what’s in our hand and the best way to play it out. God partners with us to accomplish His purpose.” Amen, Rachel – so well said. I’m much like you – while I’m willing to jump out in the lead role, I don’t like it to be in a spot of pressure and competition when everyone is counting on me for the win. I’m so grateful to have Him in the lead and know that we can lay our cards on the table before Him and trust that He’ll always deal the best hand. 🙂 Blessings to you, friend!

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  5. Failure and success go hand in hand. We cannot expect to move forward if we are afraid of taking that first step. It’s always a risk…but better to have taken the risk than to miss the opportunity that may lay beyond the risk. Fear rules a lot of our choices in life. It’s the human condition I think. Beautiful post.

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  6. Rachel,
    Thanks for sharing your blog post ” Taking a risk with what’s in our hand.” This is something I so needed to read because I too am often intimidated with the thought of failing. Your post reminded me to be confident in my calling to write and to trust God through the process. He will help me do what He is calling me to do. Thanks for your encouraging words and you too keep on writing.

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    • We might think that what we hold is just ordinary and not really that significant. Yet when God works through it, He pulls off some amazing wins. It can be hard to step out…. I know with writing, it can be very scary to put your words out there not knowing if anyone will read or care yet when we are faithful to follow through on what He leads us to do, He works through us and we can be confident that He who began a good work will carry it on to completion!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! Keep writing! 🙂

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  7. Oh yes! I can totally relate. And I am committing to have faith this year and trust God’s plan as well. Thanks for the reminder!

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