In one of Max Lucado’s books, he shares a folk tale called “The Woodcutter’s Wisdom.” Basically it is a story about a poor, elderly man in a village and the events that take place in his life. At one point several beautiful, wild horses wander into the village and settle on his property. The people of the village tell the old man that it is a blessing. But then his son falls off of one of the horses and breaks his leg, at which point the villagers tell the man that the horses were a curse. But then war breaks out and all of the young men of the village have to go to war except for the old man’s son because he is injured. And then the people say it was a blessing that he broke his leg. You get the idea. The man tells the people not to try to figure out whether circumstances are a blessing or a curse because we only see life in fragments. Only God knows the whole picture.
Last Tuesday, my sweet daughter gave birth to our first grandson. Well, of course that is a blessing!! But we all know people who have had precious children walk down a terrible path and that feels more like a curse. Or what about the recent elections? Blessing or curse? So many have shared their opinions and thoughts – especially on social media. But the reality is, no one really knows. Only God knows. We see life in fragments.
We have been celebrating that our debt is gone here at Lincoln Berean Church, but I wonder how many times through the years the leadership wondered if the steps of faith they had taken were a blessing or a curse? The same could be said of the pastors from India when we hear their stories of how difficult life has been for some of them even after coming to Jesus.
Whatever your circumstances are today, may I remind you:
God is on his throne.
He is with you in the struggle.
He is worthy of your worship.
These things are true no matter how you feel – blessed or cursed.
Listen to these words from the book of Psalms. As we enter this Thanksgiving season, may we praise him even when the fragment of life that we see is difficult.
But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God. [Psalm 50:23]
I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light. [Psalm 56:12-13]
Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. [Psalm 57:5, 9-10]
But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning, I will sing with joy about Your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love. [Psalm 59:16-17]