Mean Streets

shell-game

You can find almost anything on the streets of New York, including scams. One is the shell game. A guy stands at a makeshift table with three cups, and he puts a ball under one cup. You pay money to bet that you can follow the ball as he moves that cup around. You follow very closely, and you’re sure you know which cup the ball is under. And you did follow it. But he had replaced the ball by sleight of hand. You lose.

When I lived in New York, my good friend Holly told me how she was taken in by this scam. She was standing there, watching, ready to place her money. She looked up and saw a well dressed man, behind the fray, who gently shook his head no. She knew he was right, she told me. She knew it. But all she could see was extra money for rent, for bills… and she was so sure. She placed her bet. Of course she lost. Of course she felt terrible. That man had tried to protect her, to prevent her from throwing away hard-earned money. But her desire had overwhelmed her. The idea of extra money cost her not only the imagined money but the real money.

We want what we want. We want more than we have. We want a free lunch. But whatever we may hear, it just doesn’t work that way.

But here’s the thing to remember: no matter what is going on in the world–in politics, in natural disasters, in economics–we have a God. We have a sovereign God. Our God is able to override those politics, disasters, economics. Never fear. We can rest in Him. Always.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1. The rest is history.

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