Joy in the Midst of Hardship


A group of pilgrims were walking along a road, headed for a sacred shrine, to make a special petition. Each of them was carrying a burden of some sort. But they kept their mind on their goal, and not on what they were carrying. An angel joined the little band and passing from one to another, threw onto the burdens a few little white seeds. These sprouted and grew into a pair of large wings which carried the burdened travelers along the dusty road.

Farther down the same road there was another party of pilgrims moving along with downcast faces and complaining of their heavy loads. The same angel came up to them and kept on going. Someone asked him, “Why didn’t you give them wings, too? They are so downcast and gloomy; they need help more than the cheerful ones up front.”

The angel answered, “The kind of seeds I have will only grow in the right kind of soil. They need cheerfulness and helpfulness; but an atmosphere of grumbling kills them.”

— Tony Castle

When faced with burdens, it is often so much easier for us to complain and ask God, “Why me?” Maybe instead of grumbling, we should, like the first group of pilgrims, ask God, “Lord, what do You want me to learn from these?” and keep our eyes on the goal.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22) Don’t our doctors tell us the same thing? 🙂

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