More than Cool: The Woodcutter

Max Lucado tells  a great story about life.  It goes something like this,

“Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before—such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.

People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?” The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.

One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him. “You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”

The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”

The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”

The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?”

The story goes on…the horse returns, but not alone.  Turns out a pack of wild horses comes with it.

The people say it’s a great blessing.  The old man says you don’t know what it is.  It may be a blessing or a curse, says the old man.

Well, one day the wood cutter’s only son is breaking one of the horses.  He falls off and is injured.  Same story.  The people say it’s a curse.  The old man says,

 “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments.”

Then, there is a war.  Everyone’s son is drafted into the war, and most all of them are killed.  The wood cutter’s sun isn’t drafted because he is injured.

The villagers come to the man and say that he was right after all, that the injury was a blessing because he got to keep his son alive.

The old man spoke again. “No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”

In a way, the old man is right.  He was certainly cool.  Jesus said not to worry, but he also told us WHY we don’t need to worry.  Someone is taking care of us.

The old man said, “No one knows if it’s a blessing or a curse.”

Well, you can know.

You can know that for you, everything will work together for good.  It won’t be a curse.  None of it will be.  It will be a blessing.

It could hurt so much it makes you wake up crying.  But, it still will work together for good for you.  It will be a blessing.

It could be something that puts you on top of the world.  That, too, will be a blessing.  There are contingencies, though.  This truth is not for everyone.  It’s only for those who will receive it.

It all starts with knowing a story.  Truth is you can know a story that gives the world purpose, meaning, and hope to all of the good and the bad things you experience in life.  Not only can you know the story, but you can know the Author.  Not only that, but you can work with him to unfold his Story in your life and in the lives of others.  And, let me tell you when you do that, you’ll know something, too:

You’re a blessing.

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