We are only two weeks into our summer study through the book of Exodus and it’s not hard to pick up on a familiar theme already, that of God’s providential hand at work behind the scenes to bring about His will in the lives of His people. We don’t always see it on the surface, but often when we look back, we can see His fingerprints all over our situation. He has a purpose.
I was reminded this past week of a story I used a few years back in a sermon. It was about a farmer who owned a horse. One day the horse ran away. His friends came to console him because of the loss. “I don’t know,” said the farmer, “maybe it’s a bad thing and maybe it’s not.”
The following week, the horse returned to the farm, accompanied by 20 other horses, who had been roaming wild in the countryside. His friends came to congratulate him: “Now you have a full stable!” The farmer just said, “I don’t know. Maybe it’s a good thing and maybe it’s not.”
The following week, the farmer’s son was out riding one of the new horses. The horse began to buck and threw him off, breaking the son’s leg. His friends came to console the farmer because of the accident. “I don’t know,” said the farmer, “maybe it’s a bad thing and maybe it’s not.”
The following week, the government declared war and called all able-bodied young men to join the fight. They came to the town and rounded up hundreds of young men, except for the farmer’s son who had a broken leg. The farmer said, “Now I can say that it was a good thing my horse ran away.”
The “moral” of the story? Life is a series of events, and until we’ve reached the end of the series, it’s hard to know exactly why things are happening. When you’re in the middle of something, it’s especially difficult to get a proper perspective. Of course, we who are Christ-followers have a bit of an advantage.
Even though we may not know the significance of any life event at the time, we can trust the One who walks with us all the way, understanding that He loves us, He is in control, and He has a plan. And in the end, that plan is always for our good. Hear again those familiar words from the apostle Paul: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
May we each live out His purpose, on purpose, this week. I am praying for you, and I
hope to see you Sunday.