Monday, August 10, 2015

Unseen Blessings

For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 2 Corinthians 4:15-17 NASB

When I am tempted to complain about any situation I remember that God uses all things and turns what was intended for evil to good.  This past week I misplaced my good pair of sunglasses.  After searching everywhere I gave up the hunt.  While in my garage I turned over a small container on my workbench that scattered the contents across the bench.  Helpfully my wife asked if I needed some small containers for the garage.  As I grumbled about the fact that they would just be something else to turn over and spill I happened to look at the space where the cup had been.  You guessed it…my sunglasses.  They were in a place I would never have looked.  Unseen blessings.
I am a fan of the unseen blessing stories.  I recently rediscovered this priceless tale.
The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up.  The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition.  The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king.  The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.
Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!"
To which the king replied, "No, this is not good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of.   Cannibals captured him and took him to their village.  They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.
As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb.  Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole.  So untying the king, they sent him on his way.
As he returned home he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend.  He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.
"You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off."  And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened.  "And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long.  It was bad for me to do this."
"No," his friend replied, “This is good!"
"What do you mean, "This is good"?  How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?"
"If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you."
I’m certain you get the point but it’s easy to forget when something happens that inconveniences us or complicates our lives.  Maybe I can learn to say in the midst of all things, “This is good.”
Scripture to Claim:
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:11-13 NASB

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