There’s an old story about a farmer who had little more than a son, a horse, and a small farm. They struggled working from dawn to dusk to provide a meager subsistence for themselves.

One night a fierce storm knocked down a tree and broke a fence allowing the horse to escape. The next day a neighbor came by to see how they had fared. When he learned that the farmer’s horse had escaped, he said, “Oh, how terrible! How will you tend your field? It is truly a bad day for you!”

The old farmer shrugged his shoulders and said, “How do you know that it’s bad?”

Some time later the horse found its way home, accompanied by three wild horses. The neighbor happened by, saw the horses and said, “What luck! It’s a good day for you!”

The farmer responded, “How do you know that it’s good?”

Just two weeks later, the son was taming one of the horses and it threw him to the ground. In his fall he broke an arm and a leg. Once again the neighbor came and said to the farmer, “Harvest is starting. What horrible luck! I thought my day was bad, but this awful!”

The farmer responded, “How do you know that it’s bad?”

That week the king’s men came to town gathering all able-bodied young men to fight in a war. They passed over the  farmer’s son because of his injuries. The neighbor was dejected because his two oldest sons were taken by the king’s soldiers. He told the farmer,How lucky you are! My sons are gone, but you still have your boy. Be glad for this good fortune my friend!”

Without looking up from his chore, the farmer said, “How do you know that it’s good?”

This very wise man had learned that both “good” and “bad” events are matters of perspective. Just because an experience is pleasing does not necessarily mean that it will end well. In the same way, an event or condition that may appear unpleasant at the moment, could very well lead to a wonderful blessing in the future. None of the occurrences in this story were inherently “good” or “bad.” A horse was lost and a son was spared. Was the loss of a horse bad given all that happened afterward?

Could it be that we too should adjust our own perspective and finally come to trust that God is never surprised by anything? He is always orchestrating the events of our lives to achieve His ultimate purpose.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

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