Articles by Stan Dean

A Curse to a Blessing

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I suppose we all have experienced episodes in our lives where what we perceived initially as a tragedy- - actually turned out to be a blessing. That being the case, we can relate well to the following story.

Once there was an old Chinese farmer who had one horse and one son. One day the horse jumped out of the corral and fled to the hills. When he could not be found the neighbors came and exclaimed, “Your horse got out. What bad luck!” The old Chinaman quickly replied, “How do you know it is bad luck?” Interestingly, the next day the horse returned to his usual place of watering and feeding- - leading twelve wild stallions with him. When the farmer’s son saw them in the corral, he slipped out and locked the gate.

A few days later the son was trying to break one of the wild stallions when he was thrown off, breaking one of his legs. The neighbors came again and sorrowfully expressed, “Your son broke his leg. What bad luck!” In a familiar reply his father said, “How do you know it is bad luck?” True to form, a short time later a Chinese warlord came through the town and conscripted every able bodied young man, taking them off to war- - never to return. However, due to the broken leg the farmer’s son was not compelled to go.

The lesson we learn from this proverbial narrative is that our judgments are very limited at best because we are unable to see the long range outcome of present events. This is one reason why it is so important to keep an unwavering trust in God who sees and knows all. Solomon taught, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Thus, when misfortune strikes, we should not say, “What bad luck!” Rather we should have faith in the providence of God who has the ability to turn even a curse into a blessing (cf. Deuteronomy 23:5).

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