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February 1, 2017

Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.”
(Jack London)

Three weeks ago I woke up with a new hip. This was my 4th major orthopedic surgery in the last 15 years (two on my back, one to fix a torn ACL, and now a total hip replacement). I’m only 45, so what gives?

Well, God gave me an Ace of Hearts for a wife, but a 5 of clubs for a back.

See, all my injuries stem from a pretty bad lower back formation, which I inherited from my father’s side. And there’s not much I can do to change that. But I can learn to manage it. Exercise, stretching, treatment, medication, meditation—these are the daily elements of managing chronic pain.

My Ace of a wife cannot hold my back against me, with any integrity, but she can call me to account for how well I’m choosing to manage it.

In the same way, you have probably inherited a mixed hand of life cards. It’s not the hand you’ve been dealt, however, that really matters. Anyone can wish for a different hand, and everyone’s usually an expert at playing other people’s hands.

Learning to play the hand you’ve got is the only way to go, and the only way to grow.

2 thoughts on “Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

  1. Thank you for sharing how you are dealing with the challenges you face. It is comforting and encouraging to me to hear how others can work through stuff and even find some satisfaction in the work they put into getting through if.

  2. My dear Hal. I am scheduled for my own total left hip replacement in 10 days. Glad to hear you’re surviving it well. Gives me hope. I miss getting together with your team. Praying for your tremendous ministry with military families!! All the best!

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