All In

What does it mean to be “all in”? In poker, it’s a way to make your intentions clear – stake your claim to the best cards or seriously bluff – either way, you win or lose it all at the end. “All in”  in life is very similar. You throw your efforts behind a decision that can win or lose it all for you. The decision itself is frightening, monumental, life-defining, and often times life-changing.

I started this post an entirely different way, writing about summer projects gone wrong, left unfinished, and my role as “the project person” and how that has changed since my accident. I waxed eloquent about painting and prep-work and the story of three kids who said they wanted to paint the house but who really didn’t see my vision. The evidence of an unshared vision was when I was unable – they were conspicuously absent from the prep work and the paint. I began wrapping it up with how this time I had them help pick out the colors and that now that a good portion was started – and they could finally see how much better it looked – they were motivated to keep on – they were now “all in.”

But then they weren’t.

I pushed myself too hard and spent the next day unable to function. They were again – quietly absent. I’ll chalk it up to their desire not to aggravate my pounding headache 😉

Nevertheless, this situation got me thinking about my own attitude.  Do I grow weary of doing good as we read about in Galatians 6:9? Am I reluctant to follow God unless I can see how it benefits me – as if I could understand His plan (Isa. 55:9)? Perhaps my “all in”ness is relative to my faith. Maybe I am only “all in” when I see a way for Him to provide but not when I don’t (Luke 12:28).

“Aye, there’s the rub,” how can we risk it all by going “all in,” and, how can we not?

The only way is to trust, like the father who told Jesus he believed but needed help with his unbelief (Mark 9: 23 & 24), we too need to believe even when we struggle to do so. It’s in those times when I struggle to be “all in” that I fall back on the memory verses my mother taught me, Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path. (Proverbs 3: 5 & 6)

Despite my vacillatory spirit, despite my struggles with courage and faith, and despite my intense desire to always want to be in control of my own life, my desire to be “all in” for whatever He has planned for me is greater still.

Now, if only I can get the kids to go “all in” with the painting…

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! Luke 12:28

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9: 23 & 24

 

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