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Aug 25

Playing Chess

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

I didn’t start playing chess until I was in my thirties.  I’m not very good, but I do enjoy playing. 

Well, I enjoy playing people  have a chance to win against.  While I love my friends Eric Swendsrud and Jeff Prentiss I’m intimidated playing them in chess.

Jeff and Eric patiently play while I try to outwit them.  Masterfully they wait until just the right time to turn things in their favor; every time.

I’ve never beaten them.

Some people suggest that God seems to play an unbeatable divine chess game with us.

Whether that would be an accurate description or not, the Bible, wrote Phil Yancey, “celebrates ironic use of bad events to serve a desired result.”  In fact, Yancey goes on to say that God can take the worst circumstances and bring good from it. In fact, “Jesus’ execution accomplished the salvation of the world; ‘Your grief will turn to joy,’ he had promised.” 1

I never want to blame God for hurtful, sad, or horrible circumstances.  If you’re in the midst of some, I am so sorry!

You are not alone.  Open a Bible to the middle.  If that Bible is like most bibles you probably opened to the book called “Psalms”.  It’s a song book inspired by God filled with real-life joys and sorrows, pain and loss, doubt and disappointment, and hope.  I love how the book of Psalms expresses faith and frustrations both. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” [Psalm 34]

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” [Psalm 42]

Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?” [Psalm 77]

I search for peace; but when I speak of peace, they want war!” [Psalm 121]

While God doesn’t go out of his way to explain the pain in our lives, God does promise to be there with us through it.  “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” 2

God loves us and never wants to win against us, only to win with us.


1 – Phillip Yancey’s Reaching For The Invisible God is available here.

2 – Romans 8:38-39, NLT

3 – If you’re looking to for chess tips here are mine:

– chesslearning offers four easy to follow videos for beginners: One, Two, Three, Four.

– Looking for strategic baby steps Professor Chess has a great worksheet.  Download the “Smart Score Sheet — Form A“.

– Want to grow as a player? Dan Heisman is my favorite chess author.  Dan provides helpful guidelines and resources on his site.

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