A resurgence of board games in the last 5 years continues to hold strong. On visiting a games café called “Chance and Counters” it was clearly popular with families but mainly young adults. The return to a face to face experience with real pieces that can be held plus seeing the reactions of others all add to the enjoyment.

It’s interesting to see how even an old game like ‘Frustration’ is still played. In this game players compete to be the first to send four pieces all the way around a board. Pieces are moved according to the roll of a die. The latest version comes with the ‘slam-o-matic feature’, simply whack your colourful lever to send your opponent’s back to the start.  All very amusing.

Less amusing is when we experience frustration in real life: the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something; our reaction when we see the prevention of progress, success, or fulfilment of something. We might have experienced a lot of this during the pandemic lockdown with otherwise ordinary activities.

But this is a symptom of a perennial problem: ‘For creation was subjected to frustration’ (Romans 8 verse 20a). The whole of creation groans under the weight of suffering and awaits future glory. That’s the great hope that we have in Christ! This frustration is not unending but will have a future: ‘For creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God’ (Romans 8 verse 20b-21).

It is the work of Jesus Christ to renew creation. The frustration is very real and difficult. But the future glory is also real and will come. Jesus has made this possible and guaranteed it by his resurrection from the dead and his gift of the Spirit points to the redemption of this fallen world and our bodies.

Frustrated? Yes, it’s part of life! Looking forward? This is part of the new life in Christ.

I hope you take the opportunity to dig deeper and discover the great hope that is in Jesus Christ.

Paul Kingman

September Magazine