LONG AGO, IN the days of sailing ships, a terrible storm arose and a ship was lost in a very deserted area.
Only one crewman survived, washed up on a small, uninhabited island.
In his desperation, the castaway daily prayed to God for help and deliverance from his lonely existence.
Each day, he looked for a passing ship and saw nothing.
Eventually, he managed to build a very crude hut in which he stored the few things he had recovered from the wreck, and those things he was able to make to help him.
One day, as the sailor was returning from his daily search for food, he saw a column of smoke.
As he ran to it, he say that it was arising from his hut, which was in flames.
All was lost.
Now, not only was he alone, but he had nothing to help him in his struggle for survival.
He was stunned and overcome with grief and despair.
He fell into a deep depression and spent many a sleepless night wondering what was to become of him and questioning whether life itself was even worth the effort.
Then one morning, he arose early and went down to the sea.
There, to his amazement, he saw a ship lying offshore, and a small rowboat coming toward him.
When this once-marooned man met the ship’s captain, he asked him, “How did you know to send help? How did you know I was here?”
The captain replied, “Why, we saw your smoke signal last week. But, by the time we could turn our ship around and sail against the wind, it had taken us several days to get to you. But here we are.”
Calamity may strike, but we must remember that God can use that calamity as a means to bring greater blessing to our lives.
Right now, you may feel as if your life has gone up in smoke. You may feel as if your heart is going through fiery trials.
I want you to know that your trial may be used by God as the very instrument that will bring you closer to Him and bring blessing from His hand.
That reality would eventually become true in Job’s life.
God drew Job closer to Himself than ever before.
God will use our times of testing and trials to bring us even closer to Himself. Steven J. Lawson, “I Just Want to Lie Down and Die,” When All Hell Breaks Loose, 69-70
“Then Job answered the LORD and said, ‘I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:1-2).