Information Related to "Smoke Signal"
By Dan Dowd
When all the options we can see go up in flames -- what then?
he story is told of the only survivor of a shipwreck who was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed fervently for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but no one came.
He eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after searching for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames. What could be worse! Everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief and anger. He cried out, "God! How could you do this to me?"
"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
The moral of this story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground; it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.
There have been times I have felt like my hut was on fire -- times when I thought my options were in the ashes. How about you? We can get so invested in what we think are the only options for God to deliver us, that we can forget that He is sovereign and can direct our paths in ways that are beyond our thinking (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Moses figured his life was over when he killed the Egyptian and fled for his life. Sampson saw (or didn't see, as the case may be) his life completely unravel when Delilah cut off his hair and the Philistines put out his eyes. Martha and Mary were consumed with grief when they buried Lazarus knowing Christ could have healed him.
God could have worked with those individuals differently, but He didn't. He saw a way to reach them on a particular level so they could be more than they thought possible. Do you realize that God sees us the same way?
In Deuteronomy 14:2 we are told that God has chosen us, and made us a holy people. In 1 Peter 2:9 we are reminded that "you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."
Thomas Edison is known as a prodigious inventor, designing the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb and hundreds of other useful things. But he had many failures and losses as well.
Would Edison's spirit be broken by this disaster?
Charles Swindoll records this tragic episode in Edison's life in his book Hand Me Another Brick (1978, pp. 82-83). He tells how the inventor's 24-year-old son, Charles, searched frantically for his father. He finally found him, calmly watching the fire.
The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, "There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew." Just weeks after the fire, Edison was back in business.
God is not interested in maintaining our "huts" if allowing them to be destroyed brings us out of darkness into His marvelous light. May God show you great possibilities through the tough times you may face.
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Copyright 2008 by United Church of God, an International Association All rights reserved.
Other Articles by Dan Dowd
Origin of article "Smoke Signal"
Keywords: God's awareness trials