A couple of years ago a friend of mine locked eyes with me and asked, “Have you read Ender’s Game?”

Ender’s what? Game, apparently. It’s a book. A sci-fi. I hadn’t read it, so he got me a copy. And… I loved it so much that I’ve now read two more of Orson Scott Card’s works. Brilliant. Simply brilliant. And today, God spoke something to me through the books. But to explain that, I’ve got to back up and let you in on the premise of Ender’s Game. I’ll try and do this all in one breath.

Ender is a ridiculously brilliant kid selected to go to battle school to learn how to command armies because of an impending alien invasion and the world’s best think he’s their only hope of survival so they fast track him through school and push him beyond all sanity at every turn to both test him and push him into developing into the man-o-war they need him to be.

Beyond that, I’d be leaking succulent plot spoilers, so my lips are sealed. But the point is that the people who believe in him the most push him the hardest, forcing him through an increasingly impossible gauntlet of obstacles and difficulties to get him ready for who-knows what. But the stakes are frighteningly high — the survival of humanity — so that trumps any personal comfort or coddling they may want to give him in the meantime. And oh yeah — they do all of this in such a way that he’s shielded from knowing everything, because if he knew, he’d fold. He’d despair.

Today I realized that God is the One who believes in me most of all and is leading me through this gauntlet to prepare me for HE knows what. That there are eternal stakes beyond my comprehension in play here, stakes that trump my personal comfort or coddling, and that God is deliberately shielding me from understanding the full gravity of the situation or I’d probably despair, or worse.

Now, God didn’t say, “Thus sayeth the Lord.” There was no lightning strike, no heavenly gong or glistening choir from beyond the veil to present this epiphany on a silver plated post-Superbowl tray. The realization came quietly, gently, almost like a suggestion. I had to choose to notice the niggling, to turn and ask, “Pardon me?” I had to be attentive.