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A king in ancient times had a huge boulder placed on a roadway, then hid nearby to see who might remove it.

Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by, gazed upon the rock, then walked around it. Some blamed the king for not keeping the roadway clear, but not one moved the rock.

Eventually a peasant came along with a heavy load of vegetables on his back, in a hurry to get to market so as to start selling his vegetables. He walked around the rock, as all others had done, but then stopped, looked back at the rock, then dropped his load.

His shoulders seemed to sag as he obviously felt some responsibility. He walked to the rock and began to push. He pushed and tugged and shoved that rock with very little progress, but he wouldn’t give up.

He struggled for quite a while until finally he had maneuvered it off the roadway. Then he started back to lift his load and go on his way. Only then did he notice a purse lying on the roadway under where the rock had been.

A note indicated that the contents of the purse were to be kept by whomever removed the rock. The purse was filled with gold coins, more money than the peasant earned in an entire year.

The peasant learned that every obstacle in life presents us an opportunity to improve ourselves.

Last week, I shared with you a passage from my favorite chapter in the Bible, Romans 8, filled with powerful words from our heavenly Father. Here is another powerful Word, Romans 8:28, that contains one of the great Bible promises: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”

Not all that happens is good, but something good can come even from bad events. Obstacles slow our progress in life. We are so encumbered with “busy-ness” that we may not take time to notice or care about others. We may ignore pleas of our children to spend time with them, or ignore aging parents or a troubled brother or sister in Christ. We may pretend not to notice because we just don’t have the time.

Then BAM! You get hit with a tragic event that stops time.

A spouse or one of your children or a parent or brother or sister suddenly dies. A dangerous illness threatens one’s life. You have no option now. You spend the next few hours or days or even weeks sitting with one barely hanging onto life. The loved one eventually dies or is saddled with a crippling state from which they will never recover.

You angrily look to the heaven’s and ask God, “What good could ever possibly come from this?” You see, that is what Romans 8:28 promises: From everything that happens, no matter how awful, some good will come from it if you will just be patient and look for it.

It may not come for days or weeks, but it will come. A family member turns back to Christ after years of ignoring Him when he sees the way Christians respond to the tragic event. A family that had been drifting apart is drawn back together again.

The obstacle may be the loss of a job, a divorce, a huge financial disaster. When Christians refuse to blame God, but faithfully lean on Him to help, something good always happens.

No matter how rough the obstacle in your path, trust God to show you something good from it.

You may contact Tom Haynie at tom.julie.haynie@gmail.com