Juha relates how one day despite the difficulties of his donkey dying, an extended drought, and rising prices at the market, he determined to thank God no matter what. The test soon came, as he was hoeing in his garden and a thorn came up through his shoe. After hopping around on one foot as he cried out in pain, he remembered. “Thank you, God, that these are my old shoes and not my new ones that were ruined.”
As he continued hoeing his garden, a sandstorm arose and knocked him flat. After it subsided, he thought, “I thank God it is usually fine weather. Sandstorms are very rare!”
Before resuming his hoeing, he put down his money purse, which contained the coins he had been saving to buy a new donkey. A thief who was passing by stole the purse, and despite a fervent chase, Juha was not able to catch him. Panting heavily, he asked himself, “What can I be grateful for now?” He had no answer, and so went back to hoeing.
Soon a sailor approached him and told him, “I used to be your student until I joined a ship crew. When we were in dire danger with huge waves threatening to sink our ship, I remembered that you taught us to give thanks in any situation. I did, and I am truly thankful that my life was spared. I now want to give you a gift as a small token of my gratitude.”
Opening the gift, Juha found that it contained the exact amount that had been stolen. “I lose money in one hour and gain it back the same day! How marvelous! God is good!”
After hoeing some more, Juha was now very tired. He rested under a large oak tree. Before drifting off to sleep he noticed a watermelon patch and mused, “I wonder why the large melons grow on such small vines while the mighty oaks have small acorns growing on them. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Large fruit, large tree; small nut, small vine…” His thoughts were interrupted by an acorn that hit him on the head. He suddenly understood! “I thank you, God, that you are so much wiser than me. If watermelons were growing on large trees, I would be dead now from one falling on my head.”
At the end of the day, he had a lot to be thankful for.
Text courtesy of Anchor.
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