The phrase ‘ace in the hole’ comes from stud poker. In stud poker, as opposed to the more well know draw poker, each player is dealt their hand with some of the cards face up and some face down. In 5 Card Stud Poker, you only have one card in your hand that is face down, which is referred to as ‘the hole’. That means that everyone at the table can see four of your five cards, but they can’t see the hole. The best card to have there, the card that will turn the tables the fastest, is an ace. That’s why ‘ace in the hole’ is used to describe something designed to guarantee success.
I think God uses you and I as ‘aces in the hole’ for each other.
I grew up in a Christian home which helped my faith, but there was a tumultuous time in high school for me that really challenged that. I had a church body around me, and good friends, but all of them were coming up short. The cards I had been dealt, it seemed, weren’t going to win the hand.
Until the hole card was flipped.
I talked about Wayne before (here), but he was, in many ways, the ace in the hole God had for me then. He wasn’t the only one, but he was the one that, when the chips were down most, was the factor in coming out ahead.
In the church, I’ve noticed that we place a lot of value in our face cards – the cards that we can see. Our parents, grandparents, and church workers. More and more, it seems that Christians are relegating reaching new people and training them in the faith to these few, select individuals.
The thing is, those people are not often enough. As a pastor, I am one of those really strong factors in helping people find faith in Christ, but I can’t do it myself. Sometimes parents, grandparents, and pastors aren’t enough. Those are the known factors that help, but aren’t often enough to win. Sometimes it takes something else.
Sometimes it takes you. Sometimes you, dear reader, are the ‘ace in the hole’.
You are God’s divine trump card for someone. You are the final part of God’s plan for a relationship with someone.
You are God’s ace in the hole.