A Lesson in Sudoku

Photo by John Morgan on Unsplash (cropped)

“You have taken account of my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8

Lately I have been going through a tough time, and have repeatedly cried out to the Lord to have it end. Enough already! Uncle!! This is me, waving my white flag!

The Lord always gets His points across in unusual ways, doesn’t He?

This morning I was playing a game of sudoku on my phone. You know, they say that brain games keep our minds sharp (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

I set the game on the medium setting. Not too easy, but not so challenging that it is discouraging.

I’m not sure how others play, but I have a system. I begin with the number 1, and go in order through the numbers, repeating until I have completed the game – unless an obvious move jumps out at me. I played the number 1, and placed all 9 of them on the board in one round. I then played the number 2, and placed all of them in one round. “Wow, that’s surprising,” I thought.

Number 3 was the same, followed by 4, and then 5. When I got to number 6, I couldn’t place them all, but I placed all the 7s and 9s. I only had to repeat numbers 6 and 8 one time each, and then the game was over.

There was no challenge at all. It was so easy. It was actually pretty… dull.

I quickly understood the object of the lesson the Lord was teaching me. If things were as easy as I would like them to be, my life, too, would be dull. It is anything but that!

Imagine planning a trip to your favorite amusement or theme park. You’ve rented the car, booked the hotel, and purchased the tickets online at a discount. You have a cooler full of snacks and drinks to help ease the long drive, and you set off, eagerly anticipating your arrival.

You step foot inside the park and see toddler rides. A carousel here, a giant swing over there. You keep walking and find more of the same. You eventually cover the entire park, completely baffled. Where are the water rides? Where are the adventure rides? Where are the rollercoasters?

You inquire of a worker and discover that the park owners had played it safe and stuck to the gentler, smoother rides. You feel kind of cheated. You came all this way for… dull?

“Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly – as infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, for you are still worldly.” 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child. When I became a man, I did away with childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

King David didn’t play it safe. Neither did Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Noah, Joseph, Samson, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul or Jesus, Yeshua. They lived, they conquered, and their lives inspire us to do the same.

As always, You’re right, Lord. The easiest path is not the most rewarding. Help us to remember that Your plans are good, and that You are growing us up into the mature believers that You created us to be.

“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the bones are formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” Ecclesiastes 11:5

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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