I’ve Won in the Lotto
By John W. Schmidt
A close friend of my wife told her about a dream she’d had in which I’d won in the lotto—the full, big prize. When I heard about the dream I thought, It’s true! I did win in the lotto.
When we adopted our little Congolese girl who was found on the streets of Kinshasa, in the rain and just a day old, and we took her home as our own daughter, one of our local friends said, “She won in the lotto!” He knew what a big difference this had made in her life. Instead of growing up in horrible poverty in an orphanage, with not much chance to learn and develop, the Lord turned her life around and gave her all that one would want to give a child in this world.
Besides her winning in the lotto through this turn of events in her life, my wife and I feel that we also won in the lotto by taking Anissa into our lives. It’s all in the perspective, isn’t it? We can look at the many problems we face, which never seem to stop coming our way, or we can look on the bright side of life—at all the answers to prayer and miracles that get these problems solved. We can see that we have so many more positive things in life, which we can enjoy, instead of focusing on the bad things.
After I had lost the faith in God and Jesus that I’d had as a child, I wandered around in darkness for ten years, looking for meaning in life and not finding it, literally going through hell, a bottomless pit with no way out. I had no hope for this sad world full of injustice. I saw no possible change or bright future for all the needy people in the world, or for me or my friends. I tried to find meaning and purpose in life, but nobody could tell me a way out. I became a communist for some time, thinking that could bring a change, but it didn’t. I read books from all kinds of philosophers, but I couldn’t find solutions and answers to my questions.
When I finally found Jesus, I won the lotto—big time! I received more than all the money in the world could buy. Then I started to live for Jesus and tell others how they can also get that big prize. There is no greater joy than to help someone else win that prize, to get them hooked up to His love, which makes life worth living. Since that time I haven’t just enjoyed a beautiful life because of God’s love in my heart, and because I could pass it on to countless others, but Jesus has given me so many things in life which no money in the world could buy—like loved ones to share my life with, health, happiness, a purpose in life, a way of changing the world spiritually and physically, even if it’s only a small part of it, by helping others who are more needy than me.
Sometimes we feel as if we need more money, or we wish we would win in the lotto. But I would never want to exchange that for what God gave me since the day He turned my life around. And I’m not even talking about the bright future ahead of us in the next life! Just in looking at this life, God has given us so much. We are billionaires! With Jesus in the center of our lives, we have all won in the lotto!
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.—Psalm 19:9–10
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.—Philippians 3:8
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 3:14