Good and Bad

A wise old Chinese woodcutter lived on the troubled Mongolian border. One day his favorite horse, a beautiful white mare, jumped the fence and was seized on the other side by the enemy. His friends came to comfort him. “We’re so sorry about your horse,” they said. “That’s bad news.”

“How do you know it’s bad news?” he asked. “It might be good news.”

A week later, the man looked out his window to see his mare returning at breakneck speed, beside a beautiful stallion. He put both horses into the enclosure, and his friends came to admire the new addition. “What a beautiful horse, they said. “That’s good news.”

“How do you know it’s good news?” replied the man. “It might be bad news.”

The next day, the man’s only son decided to try the stallion. It threw him, and he landed painfully, breaking his leg. The friends made another visit - all of them sympathetic - saying, “We’re so sorry about this. It’s such bad news.”

“How do you know it’s bad news?” replied the man. “It might be good news.”

Within a month, war erupted between China and Mongolia. Chinese recruiters came through the area, pressing all the young men into the army. All of them perished, except the woodcutter’s son, who couldn’t go off to war because of his broken leg.

So what is “good” and what is “bad” in life?

Our bedrock faith is that we simply put ourselves into God’s hand of care and try not to fret too much over outcomes.

Luke 23:46 - “Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”

1 Response

  1. I like this, John. Good news and bad news ~ those visitors didn’t have the bright outlook of the woodcutter. Happy Endings are good…and good news!
    You’re an excellent writer…thanks for this one!

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