The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?

What games can you play with someone remotely? I’ve been working on this – what games work over a video chat? So far I’ve come up with knockout whist, Boggle, Uno (although it’s a pain), battleships – and chess. Chess – if you both have a board – works very well. In the past, some people used to play chess by post. A game would take weeks. My problem with chess is my lack of patience and attention to detail. To play well at chess demands that you look ahead – not just your next move – but anticipating what your opponent might do for her next move, next 2 moves, next 6 moves. I can’t be bothered – and lose patience. But, if you are willing and able to look ahead at the possibilities, pick the most likely, then you have a massive advantage. This is what chess computers do – and is why they are so hard to beat – they can look ahead at all the possibilities.

With this in mind, read these 2 verses from our psalm today:

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

When we look at our world now, in the midst of a crisis; or we look back at so many moments in history we may well ask – where is God’s plan in all this. The psalm says that God foils the (bad) plans of the nations & peoples – and his plans and purposes stand forever. Really? Is this true?

Yes, a big yes. But I want to think of God as the “Master Chess Player”. He’s not the only player – it’s just that He’s the best. Our wills get in the way of His plans. The devil gets in the way of His plans. Chaos gets in the way of His plans. But, and it’s a big but – He can look ahead 1000 moves, 1000000 moves – and make his choices. However tricky His opponent is – He will always win in the end. He sees further ahead, He is wiser, He is more understanding than anyone – and His plan will be fulfilled – whatever the twists or turns. Whatever weird or evil things we come up with, or the devil comes up with – He will find a way through. The psalm says that the plans of the Lord stand forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. Remember this as you look at our world – His plan will come to pass. The Master Chess Player will win in the end.

Have an encouraging day. Much love, Matt