The story is told of an African king 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 sent his friend to prison.
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 that 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 prison 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 what 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 prison for a year?”
His friend replied, “If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you.”
You might need to let that last line sink in. Can you say in all situations, “This is good.”?
Life may not always seem fair. Trouble and trails come into the life of every person. Yet, when we look for some good thing in every situation, we will experience a better life. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.”
Why not begin today; find and possibly write down some good thing coming from every situation you find yourself in. If you will journal these, and look back over them in one year, you will have a story to tell. A story to encourage others.
George Yates is a Church Health Strategist and life coach assisting pastors, churches, and individuals to reach their God-given potential.