The kingdom of God is like a poker game . . . hang in there, I'm serious.
Michael and I visited his cousin's family in Austin over Labor Day weekend. Sunday evening we watched Casino Royale (well, Michael sensibly went to bed instead). Like any Bond movie, I guess, it had lots of action and excitement and a superfluous plot. But one scene has really stuck with me. Bond is playing high-stakes poker. I don't know what the game is called, but each player is dealt only two cards and the rest of his hand comes from the dealer's cards, which are turned over only one at a time. I.e. the player uses whatever cards the dealer has that work best with the cards he's been dealt, and the player doesn't know at first what kind of hand he'll end up with.
In the movie, in the game's final hand, several players have impressive looking face cards, but Bond's winning hand is actually pretty paltry-looking -- I think it was a five and eight of clubs or spades. Those cards on their own are worth nothing in poker -- but here, combined with the dealer's cards, add up to a straight, so Bond won and saved $150 million from going to terrorists. (I hope you don't mind that I gave it away. You weren't planning on seeing it, were you?)
As a mother, I frequently feel inadequate. And that is how it should be. "Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." (2 Cor. 3:5). Since watching this movie, I've been encouraged by picturing God dealing cards that I have yet to see but are turning my humble hand into a winning one.