THE WORD: One toss of the dice

“The Gamblers” (circa 1623) by Hendrick ter Brugghen is a painting in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. (Public Domain) 

How often do we see people who have toiled for years, only to find their efforts in vain? They’re busy constructing something dear to them, whether it’s a physical structure or a mental creation, without realizing it stands on unstable ground or at the brink of a hidden catastrophe! 

A dedicated teacher pours their utmost attention into a promising young student, only to have their hopes dashed by a sudden illness that takes the student away! 

A parent showers their deepest love, care, time, and resources on raising their child. Yet, in the end, the wayward path their child takes feels worse than death to the parent. 

Yes, many times, our dearest hopes, well-thought-out plans, and joyful ambitions are thwarted. The bright dreams of success become dimmed by misfortune, calamity, ruin, and finally, the grave. One roll of the dice, and the grand game of life slips through our fingers! 

But it’s not the same with the everlasting wealth — “the hope which is laid up for you in heaven” — a happiness beyond the whims of luck, unbreakable bonds. “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Psalm 73:26  

John MacDuff (1818–1895) was a Scottish Presbyterian minister and author known for his devotional writings and hymns. He served as a pastor in various congregations in Scotland during the 19th century. One of his most well-known works is the devotional book titled “The Faithful Promiser,” which contains a collection of daily readings and reflections on the promises of God. His works are now in the public domain. This passage has been edited.