Holding the Winning Ticket
Have you ever held the winning ticket? Maybe you don’t consider yourself a big winner but perhaps you are the past recipient of a gift basket or some other novel prize-winning? Unfortunately, I’ve never been much of a winner of prizes and certainly nothing of great value. It is fun, however, to be the one selected to hold the winning ticket. But if you don’t expect to be the winner, then like me, you probably just move on without a second thought. That must be what Yokasta Boyer of Clifton, NJ thought.
Ms. Boyer didn’t expect that she held the winning ticket at all. She purchased a Jersey Cash 5 lottery ticket in April of 2015. She must have come home and just stashed the ticket never considering it again. I suspect that if truth be known she was probably too tired to think about it. She worked both a full-time and part-time job just to make ends meet. But over a year later as she was trying to prepare to file her taxes she came across that old ticket. On a break from that tedious work and on a whim, she decided to just check the numbers to see if she possibly had won anything because she sure could use it.
Officials reported that she did indeed hold the winning lottery ticket. A ticket that was worth more than $470,000. A ticket that she filed with only two weeks left before it expired. The winning ticket was in her hand the whole time yet she struggled through the year. It lay in its protected place unused while relief was within her reach. Thankfully for her, she could cash the ticket in and find the financial alleviation she needed. What a blessing she received.
Rejoicing in the Winning Ticket
As I pondered about Ms. Boyer struggling with life while holding the winning ticket all that time I thought about people who live without Christ in their life. He remains beside them yet hidden just like the winning ticket. What a relief these people can know and find in life by connecting with the winnings of Christ.
We are all winners in Christ when we trust and remain faithful to God. Through Him, we gain strength to face the pressure of our problems. He holds our future and so we can face life with confidence, no matter the circumstances.
Like the winner of the ticket, we don’t have to work tirelessly when we hold onto the Savior. For with Him by our side, we continue to thrive in the peace of His presence into eternity. It is only through Christ that we can face our circumstances humbly by choosing to trust and thank Him. Our rewards are many but on earth, one is the peace to carry on. It is through His provided strength that the difficult experiences in our life push to the side for His perfect love will see us through.
It isn’t easy to pray for relief from disaster when He doesn’t seem to answer immediately. But it is in these times that we must continue to trust God. Trusting and rejoicing in continued thanks because we know His promises and recognize that in all things God causes everything to work together for the good of all who love Him and are called to His purpose for them. (Romans 8:28) It is His unfailing love and rescue that makes the winning ticket for life with Him by our side.
But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. Psalm 13:5 (NLT)
What’s the Cost of the Ticket?
A courtesy advertisement in the local weekly paper announced that on Sunday the Community Church would celebrate the Lord’s Supper. A reader, with no church background, saw the announcement and called the church office. ”I have two questions,” she said. ”It’s about this supper thing. Can anyone attend and how much does it cost?”
The world too, asks these questions. Can we come and if so what’s the cost? There is a cost but the payoff is phenomenal! The cost is simply to believe in Christ. To believe that God sent His son to the world to die for our sins and because of this we are saved. By trusting in God’s unfailing love, we know that He rescues His in the end. Therefore, we give thanks in abundance for He allows life to continue even though we are undeserving.
The winning ticket that each of us holds is His grace. Therefore, we hold fast to His unfailing love even when we are impatient. It is for this reason, that we don’t give up or give in to problems on earth. The winning ticket holds many prizes within itself such as strength and peace. But we must remember that the winning ticket wasn’t free. Jesus paid the ultimate price for that ticket and because of this, it is important that when we seek God’s help we don’t do so for selfish reasons. It is necessary to consider our motives and always aim to bring God glory and honor even through our difficulties.
Hold Tightly but Share the Winnings with Others
So, hold tightly to the winning ticket for your life. Continue to give thanks to God in and for everything because of the love He demonstrated through Christ. You don’t have to live a hard and difficult life without Christ. For He stands waiting for you to take His hand so you can share in the spoils of the reward. A reward that will one day expire if you do not cash it in.
So, challenge yourself to thank God and trust in His unfailing love through all your circumstances. Hold tight to the winning ticket of eternity allowing your convictions to see you through to peace. Find your motivation to move forward knowing that His love always remains fast. Share that news with everyone you meet allowing others to experience the comfort of Him. Know that with Him, you do indeed hold the winning ticket for peace on earth and a future in eternity.
Love in Christ,
Aim at heaven and you will get earth ”thrown in,” aim at earth and you will get neither.
Credits AP News. (2016, July 7). Money Watch. Retrieved from CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/woman-finds-lottery-ticket-worth-470k-while-doing-taxes/ Lovette, R. (2005, September 20). Dinner Reservations. The Christian Century, 21.
What are your thoughts?
Have you cashed in your winning ticket with Christ? Do you tell others how they too may hold the winning ticket? Share your thoughts on the necessary importance of thanking God for His unfailing love and providing the winning ticket for life.