It was a beautiful summer day when a group of guys loaded into the car to go to the bowling alley. Driving along with the windows down, they were enjoying the pleasant weather.

The fellow riding shotgun had his elbow out the window when he got an unexpected, unwelcome and unsavory surprise. A bird flying overhead dropped a slimy, nasty deposit right on his arm.

“Harrumph,” the fellow said. “They sing to some people.”

My friend Jean Brown shared that story not long ago. Her husband Don Brown was driving that day. Don’s friend and fellow bowler Gary Burgess, a real character, drew belly laughs from his buddies with his quick wit.

The story reminded me that sometimes bad things seem to drop on us at the most unexpected times. Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end?

How we react to those things speaks volumes to people around us. We could cuss and complain, stomp and snort, or we could turn those things over to the Lord and let him deal with them.

“We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to them who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Storyteller Jerry Clower once told about the time Uncle Versie’s beloved mule, Della, fell into a deep well.

Digging her out would cost far more than the mule was worth, so Uncle Versie decided to just bury poor Della there. He began shoveling dirt into that hole, but every time a shovelful hit that mule’s back, she shook it off and stepped up.

No matter how discouraged or scared, Della kept shaking it off and stepping up. Before long, Della shook off enough to step right out of that hole.

At one time or another, we’ve all felt like we’ve been stuck in a hole with the weight of the world raining down on us. Or, we may feel like we’ve been hit by some nasty mess out of the clear blue sky, like Don’s friend.

When those situations come, let’s deal with them in faith, knowing God will use them for good.

Roger Alford is pastor of South Fork Baptist Church. Reach him at 502-514-6857 or

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