Today, I want to tell you a story.

A traveller was on a long journey. He stopped to rest under a tree and was joined by a man he had never seen before. The man introduced himself as an angel of God, and asked the traveller if he could accompany him on his journey.

The traveller was glad for the company, thinking, if nothing else, he would learn a lot from his travels with an angel. They set off together.

As night fell, they came across a huge mansion, and decided to seek shelter within. The mansion was owned by a kind-hearted rich man, who welcomed them with open arms, warm beds and a sumptuous dinner. As they dug into the hearty feast, the rich man said, “You may enjoy everything you see in this house, except for my cup”. With that, he pointed to the jewel-encrusted gold cup, studded with enormous rubies and emeralds, from which he had been drinking.

“This is my special cup, and I treasure it above everything else. It is the only thing I will ask you never to touch.”.

Later that night, the traveller was awakened from his sleep by the angel. “we have to go now”, was all he said. So the two companions snuck out of the house. Halfway down the road, the angel suddenly stopped, and, with a grin, whipped out the rich man’s gold cup from his tunic, and whispered, “Look what I got…”

The traveller was mortified. Why would the angel do such a thing? Why would he steal from such a kind man, especially after he had given them food and a place to stay? The Angel offered no explanation, and so, on they travelled, until night fell once more.

Again, they came across a mansion, twice as large as the first one, except that the owner of the house was not as kind or as accommodating as the first. Without even looking twice at his guests, he pointed to his stables and said, “You can sleep in there with the sheep”.

After an extremely smelly and uncomfortable night, the traveller was ready to hit the road, but the Angel insisted on thanking the cruel man before they left. Interrupting him in the process of mercilessly beating his wife, the angel thanked the wicked rich man for his hospitality, and, to the traveller’s horror, handed him the fantastic gold cup they had stolen from the kind, rich man. The evil tycoon grabbed the cup without even saying ‘thank you’ and unceremoniously shooed the two men off his property. Again, the angel offered no explanation for his strange behaviour, so, on they went, continuing their journey.

On the third night, they came across a small cottage on the side of a hill, which was surrounded by water. To get to the cottage, the travelling companions had to make their way carefully across a long, narrow bridge. The cottage was the home of a middle-aged couple and their little dog.

The couple welcomed our travellers, and shared their dinner with them. They weren’t the most attentive of hosts though, as their beautiful little dog seemed to occupy all of their attention. They explained that after years of wanting a child, they had given up, and chosen to lavish all their love and attention on the little pet instead. They fussed over him, cuddled him, stroked his hair and sang to him non-stop, throughout the night.

In the morning, the traveller dreaded how the Angel would repay this kind family for their hospitality. After thanking them, the angel requested that the couple allow their dog to lead the two men back across the rickety bridge. Reluctantly, the couple agreed after constant cajoling by the angel. Halfway across the bridge, the Angel threw the dog into the water, and watched serenely as the little puppy drowned.

At his point, the traveller simply could not handle the confusion any longer, so he confronted the angel: “Look, I don’t understand you. You rob a kind man to reward a wicked one, and you take away the one thing this couple treasure more than life itself. What kind of angel are you, anyway?

The angel said, “Here’s what you don’t know. One of the kind man’s servants had poisoned the cup. If he had used it the next day, he would have died. As for the wicked one, he had to be stopped before he beat his wife to death.

“Ok, that makes sense”, the traveller conceded, but seriously, why did you drown the little dog?

With a smile, he said, “Exodus 20:5 and Exodus 34:14. ‘For I, the lord your God. am a jealous God’. That couple had replaced their God, with this pet, but He needed them to focus on Him, so they would notice the miracle of childbirth he was about to bring into their lives.

My people, the lessons here are simple.

1. It’s not always that a loss is a misfortune.

2. Beware of rewards for no work done.

3. Just because you don’t understand God’s plan doesn’t mean He doesn’t have one.

My name is Kojo Yankson. Nuff said.