The only survivor of a shipwreck came upon a small, uninhabited island. He prayed repeatedly for God to save him and everyday scanned the horizon for his answer. Even though he was exhausted and in despair, he eventually managed to build a little hut to keep him out of the weather and to store his provisions.
Then one day, after searching for food, he came home to find his little hut on fire. The worst thing that could have happened had happened. Everything he had was consumed. In his grief he cried out, "God, how could you do this to me!" Early the next morning, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. They had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the castaway. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
I love this little story illustrating how God's providence works. But, do we remember it when the fire is raging? A new friend said something to me a few days ago that was very wise, yet a little scary at the time. She said when a sudden shift occurs do not be moved. She said to prepare even my son's heart for these kinds of changes in direction or routine, no matter how big or small. The truth is that these shifts can be from God working his plan out for our life and not just from the enemy who wants us ruined and off course.
Yesterday, without really realizing that I had had a similar word dropped into my spirit, my son prayed to God to not be moved by any of life's shifts and/or changes this year. He dedicated his upcoming year to God and asked to be a solid and bolder witness. He also prayed not to be concerned with being the popular kid but with being the kid who says and does what's right. Always. A great prayer from an 18 year old!
But, what about all the rest of us? It's easy to get crazy and scared when our 'plan' is interrupted. But, is that faith? Faith is, as Hebrews 11 says, being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. This promise is much bigger than a shift or change in your day, your month, or your life.
The job you lose, may be the blessing that keeps you home with your kids. The guy who dumps you may be the preparation you need to move on to the one who marries you. The college your kid chooses, may open a door to a whole new world in a whole new city. If you keep your eyes on God. If you continue to abide in Him you will bear the fruit of your dreams and visions.
So, while the hut on your island seems to be burning down pray and praise God for the fact that with the smoke that may be raging out of control, He is sending up smoke signals that will bring the help you really desired.
It has dawned on me recently that God, being a God of love, cannot look upon us and want to see us hurt or distraught. He is love. He loves us. We love, as scripture says, because he first loved us. Nowhere, in the definition or act of love does an intentional infliction of emotional distress occur. We do this to ourselves by losing faith when the fire is burning down our beach shack.
God is not a man that He would lie the Bible says. So...My goal, is to try and stay calm when the floods come, and the fires rage. For God would not lie about caring for me, or you, as He cares for the birds. The goal is to stay in faith, solid and sure, that He that began the work in you will complete it to the end.
Personally, I believe that God would not allow promises and prophecies to be spoken over my life that were not sent from Him. My goal is to not be moved! For, He is my rock and my fortress, my strong tower. Trust in God's promises. And, while this is the goal, continue to pray for a smooth passage across the waters of life...and basketball! Laugh. Because, He knows the end at the beginning and when He is faithful and merciful enough to give you a glimpse into His plan you can take it to the bank and deposit it in an account of faith that's already been opened in your name.
Your challenge today, may be your smoke signal bringing tomorrows help. Embrace the fire and in ALL things give Him thanks and praise.