Luckiest or Unluckiest Man Alive
Ed, my neighbor next door, is up to his ears in combining. Ruby, his wife says that he needs a caution light on his forehead. She claims that he is likely to snarl and go off like a firecracker if you talk to him. This is not unusual behavior during harvest. Being grumpy is one thing, but his short temper also comes with feeling sorry for himself.
During harvest, Ed feels unlucky because everything could be way higher. The yield per acre, price per bushel, number of good combining days, are not high enough to suit Ed. Meals he gets in the field always get eaten but even they could be better.
The harvest temperament, of snarling and complaining, disappears within an hour or two of being done the harvest. It is seasonal disorder according to Ruby. Many farmers suffer from it, but most of them aren’t aware of being infected by it. Ruby claims if you want the truth about the disorder ask their wives. I’m not asking as Ruby would have no reason to make it up.
We all have our seasons, weeks, days, hours and minutes of being grumpy and feeling sorry for ourselves. Many of us dwell on the pinch of truth that things could have been better. We ignore the pound of truth that they could have been far worse. There sure seems to be a shortage of happy people most days. Could it be that it is easier to be negative than positive? Do we deserve only good days? We realize that bad, sad, terrible, tragic, depressing and undeserved things happen to others. Why do we believe they should never happen to us, and that we are unlucky when they do? Job asks in the Bible, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
Trouble is seen as unlucky and the greater the trouble the grumpier some of us get. It is as if we ignore the truth that God has promised that he will never leave us or forsake us. The Bible says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” Seeing things as unlucky disappears when we remember that, the Lord himself, goes before us and he tells us neither to fear nor to be discouraged. Even if we walk through the valley of the shadow of death God is with us.
James wrote to the twelve tribes scattered away from the early Jerusalem church after Stephen’s death. To escape persecution in Jerusalem, Christian believers went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Syrian Antioch. As leader of the Jerusalem church, James reminded them to consider it pure joy to face trials of many kinds. The trials they faced were confiscation of property, arrest, imprisonment, beatings, and possible death. James called it the testing of their faith to develop perseverance. What we consider unlucky or even terrible is used by God to mature us.
If we trust God, what happens to us will make us better not bitter. The Bible says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The Bible also asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”