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Stories We Tell: God Wins
By Lyle Arakaki
In his book, Reaching for the Invisible God, Philip Yancey shares his experience with the game of chess to illustrate how God is able to make His will a reality while still respecting our freedom of choice.   As a high school student, Yancey took great pride in his ability to play chess.  He was a member of the chess club, devoured books about chess strategy, studied techniques, and was able to win most of his matches.  However, after graduating, he put the game aside. 

Twenty years later, he met a chess player who had been perfecting his skills long past high school.  Yancey then discovered what it is like to play against a chess master.  He was free to move his pieces however he chose.  He utilized the best strategies he knew.  But in each situation, even when Yancey tried risky, unorthodox moves, the master was able to use them to his advantage.  The chess master’s superior skill guaranteed that no matter what Yancey did, the master always won.

God has given to us human beings the freedom of choice.  Even though we have this freedom, God is so omnipotent, so far above us in wisdom and power that no matter what we choose to do from day to day, He is still able to accomplish His purposes and will.  Even when we make bad choices, God can still use them to His advantage as well as for our blessing.  As Paul wrote in Romans 8:28 RSV, “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”

Lyle Arakaki is pastor of the Everett Forest Park Church in Washington