Sunday, January 14, 2007


Got myself thinking lately… thinking about those bad things that happens in my life. You know, those bad things… like those problems, those pains, those failures, those mistakes, those troubles… bad things that disturb and bother our minds. Got myself into thinking if being bothered and disturbed by these bad things are worthwhile. I understand it might be a choice if you want to be greatly affected by these bad things that happens.

And I think there is a greater meaning with all these “bad things” or troubles that happens in my life – and to everybody’s life.

* * *

I read about this old flower lady with an optimistic and admirable outlook. When asked why she wears her troubles well, she replies, “When Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, that was the worst day for the whole world. Then three days later – Easter. So when I get troubles, I’ve learned to wait three days. Somehow everything gets all right again.” Fun lady. Troubles? “Wait three days… somehow everything gets all right by then.”

* * *

I have another one. You know the story of Joseph (Israel’s son) in the Bible? Betrayed and sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, for 20 pieces of silver (Hey, I know of another who was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver… yup, that’s another material but let’s stick with Joseph, besides I assume you know the story about this other one), framed by his master’s wife, and then spent twelve years in prison… those were really bad things that happened to him, right?

Well, not exactly. If Joseph was not sold into slavery and framed to be thrown to prison, he wouldn’t have told the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream, save Egypt from famine, got the glory of being governor of all Egypt, and save the tribe of Israel from being wiped out by the famine. God used those bad things, so for a greater good as the result… and all those bad things that happened were outweighed by the good result.

* * *

In our perspectives, these troubles happening to us may be bad, but that’s only in the present. We do not know the whole picture and the future. Like Joseph’s years of suffering in Egypt and Christ’s dying on the cross, those things were “bad things”, but what happened after all that? Now you get the point.

Only God knows everything. All these bad things – these troubles – are all temporary. So, when troubles fall on us, let us be patient… wait for three days like the flower lady, or many years like Joseph or even for a whole lifetime. The glory and reward for all eternity in Heaven will outweigh all the troubles of God’s Chosen Ones in Earth.
It’s gonna be alright.

* * *

Hope I gave you something to ponder on. Things may appear bad for the present, but in the future, it might bring a great good… or vice versa. Only God knows, so we must trust Him. All in this world is temporary, we must all remember that.

I’ll leave you this story I read in “In the Eye of the Storm” by Max Lucado. Hope you will enjoy the story and find the wisdom and moral in it, like I did. Here goes:

* * *

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before – such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.

People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man refused. “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How would you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?” The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.

One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. The entire village came to see him. “You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”

The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. This is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”

The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”

The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?”

The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.

After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke, “Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.”

The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge. How would you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand the whole phrase?

“Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is a fragment! Don’t say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don’t”

“Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse. With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and sold for much money.

The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.

“You were right,” they said. “You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever.”

The old man spoke again. “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments.”

It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again.

“You were right, old man,” they wept. “God knows you were right. This proves it. Your son’s accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever.”

The old man spoke again. “It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”

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