Trust is like watching a chess game when you already know who will win

What does it mean to see the hand of God?

It might mean different things to different people, but to me, seeing the hand of God means that I see something that is happening, and I know that God was involved. Sometimes it’s a big miracle that others can easily see, but more often it is small things here and there. Maybe I asked God to show me something, and hours later someone says a random something, not knowing how God spoke through those words to me. Or maybe I didn’t even ask. God knows how much I love to see His hand at work, and He is so gracious to allow me to see or hear the evidence that He is indeed working in my life and in my loved ones.

What does this have to do with Lessons in Trust? Quite a bit! You see, when I’m in the middle of overwhelming and dark circumstances, those tiny little things that I see are powerful. They are proof that my all-powerful God is involved, even in the darkness. I know that He does all things well, and that He already knows all the moves that the devil is going to make.

A year or so ago, our family was going through things that were trying to tear us apart. I was able to see the hand of God in the middle of it though, and I realized that He had brought me to a new level of trust. I noticed how different my heart was responding in the situation. I felt almost no anxiety about the outcome of the situation, even though I was facing things more difficult than I ever thought I’d have to face.


As I thought about it, I found myself comparing the situation to a chess game.

I am not a chess aficionado. I know the moves every piece can make, and that’s about it. So when I used to watch my dad play someone, I was typically able to see the chess board only for how it looked in that moment. I was not able to see the game as my dad was seeing it. I could tell who was attacking who, and I’d get worried when I saw one of his important pieces under attack.

But there’s one thing about chess. A good player has to be able to think multiple moves ahead. Both players are constantly making attack moves that look strong in the moment. But the better player will let their weaker opponent make an attack and take a piece… because it fits into their own overall, long-term plan of victory. Maybe they sat back and allowed their opponent to set up an attack on their bishop. Meanwhile, they made a move elsewhere. And then the bishop was stolen. And still they made a move elsewhere… and then a few moves later, suddenly (to my uneducated eyes) the whole game was over, won decisively by the player who allowed the bishop to be taken.

The better player had the long-term plan. And they had the foresight and skill to carry it out, regardless of any weaker attacks their opponent made in the meantime.

That’s what God does.  

Think about it this way. Let’s say you’re watching a game between your college team and your biggest rival.  The rival player makes a series of really strong moves, and you start to get nervous about whether your own champion is going to win after all. Why? Because both are only college-level players.

But let’s say that instead, you’ve somehow got the world champion playing on behalf of your school. Again, the rival team’s player has made a series of really strong moves.  Now are you going to be worried? Of course not! The world champion has seen it all, beating everyone in the world!  There is no way that a mere college student is going to defeat him!  So instead of worrying, you eagerly watch to see what counter-attack the world champion has got planned. You’re excited even, because the more challenging the game is, the greater the victory will be!

See the difference?

When the devil makes a move, our attitude shows whether we really think God is the Grand Master and Universal Champion who has already defeated everything in existence.  If He is not, then we have every reason to worry.  But if He is the Champion, then we can continue to wait with baited breath until we get to see the hand of God move again. And even if His move is a small one, we can be confident that it’s part of a master plan to defeat the enemy!

Be still and know that I am God.
                                                                     – Psalm 46:10

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