By Michael Sisson

I am sure that most of us feel like sometime, somewhere we were mistreated; we were not treated fairly; life was not fair to us. If this has happened to you, or when it does as it surely will, you need to remind yourself that sometimes those things you think are bad are really a blessing. Let me share a story that beautifully illustrates this biblical principle.

About 200 years ago, a little girl was born into a tribe of Indians known as the Shoshones. They made their home in an area of the Rockies called the Bitter Root Mountains. They named this little girl Sacagawea. Life was very simple for this little girl growing up in this peaceful tribe. She played the normal childish games with no thought to the world outside the valley where she lived. As a small child she was taught to work. She was taught how to gather herbs and roots for both food and medicine. Life was good for her and the other Indian children.

One day into this valley rode another Indian tribe in full battle array. They were the Blackfeet, a fierce warlike tribe. Devastation followed with many of the Shoshones being killed and others being taken captive. Among those kidnapped was little Sacajawea.

They took her east, far from her home. Sacagawea watched and listened as her homeland disappeared. She observed the trails and landmarks as these Indians ventured further east.

After a few weeks, this little 5-year-old Indian girl was sold as a slave. Her master, a French Canadian, kept her and made her his wife when she was just age 14. Life certainly had not been fair to this little girl.

It was about this time that two explorers, Lewis and Clark, came into the area where Sacajawea lived. They had been sent west by President Jefferson to explore and map this great land that would become the western United States of America.

They hired the French Canadian to be their guide. Once again, Sacagawea had to move—this time with a group of white men. She was the only woman in the party. For days they traveled west; often the teenage Sacajawea was able to guide them as she recalled the trails she had traveled a few years earlier as a kidnapped slave.

Life was difficult for this party of explorers. Food was scarce and sickness abundant; and often it was little Sacajawea who would slip into the forest and collect roots and herbs for food and medicine, just as she had learned as a little girl.

After following the Missouri River to its source, Lewis and Clark realized that they needed to get out of the mountains before winter set in. There was one slight problem: they needed horses to continue. If they did not get horses soon, chances were they would freeze to death in a few weeks. Where could they get horses? One day a group of Indians rode into their camp. They were Shoshones, and when one spoke, Sacajawea ran from her tent. She threw her arms around the Indian; he was her brother she had not seen since the day she had been kidnapped. He was so happy to see his little sister that he helped Lewis and Clark secure the horses they so desperately needed.

The Lewis and Clark expedition was an epoch-making journey. It is hard to estimate the importance of this journey that pushed the boundary of the United States from the Mississippi to the Pacific. Yet, the truth is, this expedition succeeded mainly due to a little Indian girl who had been greatly mistreated. The Blackfeet Indians had meant it for evil when they raided the Shoshone village, but God meant it for good. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)

So when people hurt you are terribly or something happens that you believe is unfair, please remember that God could be allowing these things for your or many other people’s good.