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The Burning Hut

The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island.  He prayed
feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none
seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood
to protect him  from the elements, and to store his few possessions.  But then one day,
after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke
rolling up to the sky.  The worst had happened; everything was lost.  He was stung with
grief and anger.

"God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island.  It had come to rescue him.

"How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.

"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It is 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 pain and suffering.  Paul wrote,
"...I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed
or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12).

Paul had confidence that good would come out of everything (Romans 8:28), so he learned to
be thankful, not bitter, even when he was suffering.  Who knows?

Remember next time your little hut is burning to the ground -- it just may be a smoke signal
that summons the grace of God.


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