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Deal or No Deal

Have you ever watched the show, Deal or No Deal and found yourself screaming at the television as the contestant becomes more and more greedy for a bigger and better offer than the round before? The premise of the show is that you have a certain number of cases each containing a dollar amount between $1 and $1 million.  When the game begins, the contestant chooses one case that is her case to keep unless she decides to trade it in for an offer from the banker.  As the rounds progress, the contestant continues to direct which cases are opened eliminating that dollar amount from the possibility that it is the amount contained in the contestant’s case. At the end of each round, the “banker” offers the contestant a sum of money based on the odds of the player holding the million dollar case.  Sometimes, if the contestant eliminates a lot of low dollar cases, the odds of her having a large sum of money increase causing the bank offer to skyrocket.

I have found that whenever someone’s bank offer goes above $100,000, I begin to talk to the television and plead with the player to take the offer and go.  Many times, they continue to take risks to their own demise, eventually opening up the million dollar case causing the bank offer to plummet.

Isn’t our walk with God similar to this at times? We hold a case containing Jesus.  He is a sure thing, and He has given us a promise that no matter what the world may offer us, He is greater than all of it.  The Apostle Paul, in a letter to Timothy, noted that godliness with contentment is great gain and that if we have food and clothing, we should be content. But we continue to seek more things, more riches, more entertainment, more distractions instead of resting in Christ alone as our Portion. Does my life always reflect that I actually believe that Jesus is all I need? If my devotional time each day is 1 hour, and I spend 3 or 4 hours watching television or some other form of entertainment, isn’t that eerily similar to Deal or No Deal? With a $100,000 offer on the table that will make my future financially secure, why would I risk losing that for the hope of something more?

Even more compelling is, why do I so often risk my relationship with Him for these inferior pursuits? Knowing that He is my Treasure, why do I pursue so many other avenues of contentment for myself? There is an enemy out there, and he will do everything in his power to get me to give up what’s in my case. While I realize my analogy is not perfect, I think you get what I mean. We live in a day with so many distractions, I often wonder if we will eventually pay the price for it in our relationship with Christ. We study the nightly television lineup more than we study the Bible, yet we say He is all that we desire.

I spoke with a believer in Christ recently who tried her best to convince me that godliness is a means to financial gain. Even when I pointed out the verses in which Paul taught the exact opposite, she stood her ground.  She insisted that her relentless pursuit of earthly wealth through the teaching of her church took nothing away from her relationship with Christ.  There is much to be said for balance, but even more to be said for radical faith, isn’t there? Francis Chan, the author of Crazy Love and Forgotten God has a pretty firm grip on the kind of faith that brings genuine revival.  It starts with us.

Let’s keep what’s in the case.  Bank your entire life on it, and pursue Him with all that is within you.  Nothing the “banker” offers us can even come close to the wonder and majesty of knowing Him.

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My 15 year old son loves to play basketball and has dreams of reaching the height of 6 foot.  I have to admit that it’s been a roller coaster ride since he started his growth spurts at about the age of 12.  I see how much it means to him to make that mark, and we diligently track his progress on the kitchen door frame.  If we ever move, I guess we will take the door frame with us since we have all of the progress of Adam’s dreams documented there.

Tuesday night, Adam dislocated his pinky finger playing basketball, and off we went to the emergency center to see if it was broken.  While there were no fractures, we were excited to leave with a copy of his hand x-ray to view on our home computer.  Oddly enough, this past Sunday, a friend was telling us how orthodontists will sometimes x-ray their teenaged patient’s hands to help decide where the patient is in the growth pattern. So, Wednesday night Adam and I sat down at the table to do our own research and get to the bottom of this whole “how tall will he be” business.

We were in for a treat.  As I surfed the internet and read a lot of really fancy doctor lingo, I began to realize the depth and intricacy of the human hand.  I don’t know why I’m still surprised when I see how amazing our Creator really is.  But I am taken by surprise every time I see his “handiwork”.  Do you realize just how much detail and planning are involved in the human growth process?  Each section of each finger, and each little bone in the hand has a pattern that is distinct in each developing human.  Several changes are made in certain fingers in order, and the gaps left for growth are closed one by one, followed by fusion of certain parts of the bones where the spaces were left opened.  The last piece in the hand to fuse is the radius (wristbone).  Then, the body is almost done growing, and the knee growth plates close, followed by the spine and finally the clavicle (very noticable in boys as their shoulders broaden considerably).

The longer I sat and looked at the x-ray, the more excited I got.  Let’s face it.  The growth pattern of the human body is just another signature of God.  No one can convince me that all of this came from nothing.  As Hank Hanegraaff always says, “nothing comes from nothing…nothing ever could.”

As you can see by the big bone on the bottom right, there is only a VERY small gap left in Adam’s wrist bone.  Can he squeak out 2 and a half more inches?  Well, it’s already encoded in his DNA by a very loving Potter.  He makes the clay and forms it into His finished design.  He loves each of us individually.  I think Adam can trust a Designer who has every hair on His head numbered.  If he doesn’t hit the 6 foot mark, He will have still realized the dream His God had for Him before the foundations of the world.  You just can’t beat that.  What a God we serve!  Who says the devil is the one in the details?  Our God is intricate, completely divine, completely trustworthy with all of our dreams, and His Sovereign will over them.  Rest in that, Adam.  There really is no greater joy.

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