A very long time ago, in a small Italian village, a man called Tony had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a moneylender. The old capitalist seemed mean and ugly as he collected just the interest on Tony's loan.
Captivated by Tony's gorgeous and charming daughter, he proposed this solution to Tony. He said, "I am ready to forgo your debt Tony, if you will give me your daughter's hand in marriage!" The thought of marrying this loan shark horrified both Tony and his daughter.
However, the granter continued with his offer, He enticingly said to Tony, " We can settle this right now, I will put a black pebble and a white pebble in an empty bag so that your daughter can choose one pebble from the bag. Should she pick the black pebble, she will become my wife and your debt will be forgiven. And, if she picks the white pebble, she need not marry me and I will still forgive your debt!"
One more element Tony, "If she refuses to pick a pebble, I will have you thrown into prison until the debt is paid in full!"
They were standing on a pathway strewn with pebbles along side of Tony's garden. As they continued their conversation with the usurer, he bent over and picked up two pebbles, one black and one white one.
As he picked them up, however, the keen-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them both in the bag. The shrewd man then asked the young girl to pick a pebble from the bag.
Now, this begs the question, "What would you or I do in this situation...? Would we get angry and blatantly point out the moneylenders dishonesty...? Would we grab the bag and show the man how corrupt he was...? Would we consider hurting this moneylender...? What would you or I do...??
Let's see what Tony's daughter did:
Tony's daughter put her hand gently into the brokers bag and drew out one pebble. Quickly and without looking at it, she fumbled and let the pebble fall onto the pathway that was full of them and immediately, it became lost among all the other pebbles.
"Oh, how very clumsy of me," she said. "Still, never mind kind sir, if you look into your bag for the one that is there, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."
Since the leftover pebble was black, it would be correct in determining that the one she picked had to be white. And, since the financier dared not admit his dishonesty... the girl was able to change what seemed to be an impossible situation into what became a favorable outcome!
When we learn to trust God's Words and act upon them, the Holy Spirit will speak a new way of living in our hearts and minds. It is so easy for us to detest our enemies and want to destroy them, however, God tells us to LOVE them!
Our goal should be that we want our enemies to bring out the best in us, never the worst! We want always to strive for and to bring out our joy, love, peace and our faith into every situation!
This is exactly what God does, He lets the sun shine on the pleasant and the inferior. He allows the rains to fall on everyone, regardless if they are nasty or nice. If we only do what is favorable to those we love, how will we ever grow in Christ Jesus, for even the world can do that!!!
If someone is giving you a difficult time, show kindness and respond with heartfelt prayers, asking God to show you just what you need to do next! If you submit to Him, I know God will guide you and help you to do that which is gracious and loving!
Our most complex problems do have solutions... we just have to see them through God's eyes and think about what He would do!!