“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28 NASB
One day a man received a gift of a rare plant, which he set in a big flowerpot close to a fountain basin. It never thrived well; in fact, it barely lived. Its foliage was stunted, in spite of all the care the owner gave it.
While he was away some weeks from home, the flowerpot was hit by a careless garden boy, and the pot smashed with the contents spilling into the fountain. The plant, earth and all fell into the water, creating a mess. The boy removed the broken pieces of the pot, but left the plant at the bottom of the pool, because it was too much bother to remove it.
When the owner returned, he noticed in the fountain, a luxuriant growth of an exotic plant. Upon inquiry, he found what had happened. It turned out that the plant, in reality, was a water plant and began to flourish only when plunged into what seemed to be a disaster….
There was once two friends; a painter and a merchant. The painter gave a silk handkerchief to his friend the merchant as a gift. The merchant treasured the gift and carried it with him everywhere. One day, some ink spilled onto the handkerchief, giving it a dark black spot.
The merchant was beside himself with grief. Telling the story to his friend the painter, the painter asked him to return the handkerchief to him. Several weeks passed, when the painter gave back the handkerchief. Where there was once a black spot, the painter had now painted a beautiful picture that incorporated the black spot in its design. The ugly stain could no longer be seen.
C.S. Lewis, a contemporary writer, wrote that often times we have a hard time seeing the purpose of why we are going through these difficulties. He likened it to a fly walking around a painting. From up close, there is no harmony to the colors, nor is there a pattern.
All seems to be peaks and valleys, blotches of color randomly put on the canvas. But if the fly looks at the picture from a distance away, he can see harmony, purpose, and design. So we may view the circumstances we find ourselves in. And in looking back on our lives, we can see the pattern of God directing our lives in the midst of our tragedies. (C.S. Lewis: The Problem of Pain)
Another writer has said it this way, “If we could see the end from the beginning, we would choose the way God is leading us in the present…” (E.G.White: Desire of Ages)