I have always rebelled slightly against wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. I am of Irish descent and I have green eyes, so I take my chances that I won’t get pinched. Visiting the beautiful country of Ireland, I suppose I experienced a bit of luck. I was there during rainy season, but it was clear skies, sunny and warm during my stay.
My son was recently telling me that the luckiest and unluckiest man is the same person. This man has been struck by lightning twice in the same spot and won the lottery. We seem to use the word luck in our vocabulary a lot when something either goes our way or doesn’t go our way. Luck is the success or failure brought about by chance rather than through one’s own actions. We wish people luck all the time meaning “do your best”. And for some reason telling an actor or singer to “break a leg” is the same as saying good luck.
When we look to God’s Word, we don’t find the word luck. Out of the almost 800,000 words, luck is nowhere to be found. Why does the Bible leave out luck? Luck tries to explain away God’s providence, provision, blessing and favor. The idea that everything is just left up to chance is never once presented in God’s Word.
The French say “bonne chance” (good chance) to mean good luck. That to me, is a more accurate way of looking at the topic of chance. There is a good chance that if I work hard, I will be successful. There is a good chance that if a student studies for a test, they will make a good grade. Luck leaves out the chance that an outcome has more to do with consequences than chance alone.
Throughout scripture, God makes the connection between our actions and what happens to us. He also makes the connection that despite our actions, he is inclined to show us grace and favor. Turning our way of thinking over to a series of chance encounters is not wise. But Job 28:28 says, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.”
The more you get to know the Lord and gain understanding, the less you leave to chance. What was once considered good luck becomes abundant blessing and what once was thought of as coincidence is understood to be divine appointment. “Don’t be deceived my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17.
Luck can shift like shadows, evading us when we most want it and luck leaves little room for hope. There is good reason that God doesn’t entertain the notion of luck in His truth. Though much of the world is caught up in how lucky or unlucky they will be in the days ahead, God doesn’t acknowledge luck. God is deeper, wider and higher than mere chance and he involves himself in the smallest details of those who love him. I call that infinite wisdom, not luck.