Max Lucado tells a story about a man who had a beautiful horse, the most beautiful in the kingdom. Through a series of events, the man looses the horse, gains it back with 10 more, has to care for his injured son who then cannot go off to war for the king. With each turn of events, the people around him find reason to judge his circumstances either blessed or curse depending on how they view event. With each turn, the man urges people to not judge the circumstance a blessing or a curse. Each circumstance was what it was. It was beyond anyone's understanding to decide if the event was a reward or punishment, a blessing or a curse.
This story came to my memory today as I sat and evaluated a number of events where things did not seem to be of much benefit to me or my family. It did not feel good to go through any of them. But was the outcome of any of them a blessing or curse? Was it for our best or was something at work keeping me from enjoying a good thing?
The wisdom of Max's story became apparent to me. I cannot tell if something is blessing or curse. I cannot tell if a good thing was kept from me or if I was kept from a disaster. I am left thinking that it is too wonderful for me to see beyond my circumstances or the circumstances of others to know what is really the best.
As I ponder this reality, another thought comes to mind. The Lord I serve does know what is the outcomes mean. He understands what He purposes and what He can make of each event, be it trial or victory. He told a group huddled in exile, wondering if they would ever see home again, "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
He used a man named Paul to remind me that, "God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
These are well known Scripture passages to many who follow Jesus. They are comforting because we trust that He DOES have our best in mine. They are challenging because it means I let go of wondering and worrying what my circumstances mean. I continue to follow faithfully and patiently. The one who works it all for good and knows what the plan is will cause it all to make sense at the right time.