September 25, 2019

Last year at this time, I borrowed Dee’s grain drill to plant a field of oats. Transporting the drill from Dee’s ranch to mine was an adventure, in and of itself, as cars and pickups hit the ditch and women and children cowered in terror. Finally, I made it to our field and no one died. It was a miracle.

After planting the field, it was time to return the grain drill. I said a prayer and pulled the tractor onto the road.

To make a long, brutal story short, in crossing a bridge, I put the drill in a tree. I praised God that Dee’s father, Mike, was the only one who saw what I had done, and then Shawna pulled up and decided to have a family reunion right there on the bridge. That’s when I realized everyone would know what I had done.

A few weeks ago, I picked up the parts from the John Deere dealership that Dee needed to repair the drill. I had already decided that if anyone at the dealership asked how so many parts could break at one time, I was going to lie. But no one asked, so I didn’t have to sin.

Yesterday, Dee called and asked if my ears were burning. Then he explained how he had used my name in vain while he repaired the grain drill. But then he started talking about everything he had learned in taking apart such a complex piece of equipment and how impressed he was with the engineering.

When Dee said, “I learned something new today,” I said, “So what you are really doing is calling to tell me thank you.” For the first time in the history of Dee, Dee was caught off guard. I enjoyed the moment.

You might not have to break down the grain drill your friend destroyed, but more than likely you will be faced with a challenge that you can see as a curse or a blessing. Dee turned the curse of repairing a large, complex piece of equipment that I broke into the blessing of learning something new. It’s all about perspective.

As Paul said, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Believe it or not, in every situation, you can find something positive. It may be very hard to see, but it’s there. And remember, on a Friday afternoon, 2,000 years ago, it looked like the only innocent person had been killed on the cross. A few days later, that man walked out of a tomb and saved us. God turned something bad into something good.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me to see the good in every person and situation I encounter. Fill my mind with wisdom, my heart with grace, and my mouth with praise. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The fact that God has given me, the worst rancher in the history of ranching, good friends who know exactly what to do, tells me God is good.

You can always find something good in the midst of something bad. All you have to do is look.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins