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April 28, 2016, 12:00 PM

The Burning Hut

Author unknown


The only survivor of a shipwreck was 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 himself 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 was in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky! The worst had happened; everything was lost! He was stunned 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.


This is one of my favorite stories. It shows that we sometimes miss how God works in our lives. The man prayed feverishly, but when his answer came, he could not see God for the flames, when in reality, God was in the flames. It is easy to praise God during good times, but the true test of our faith is when we can praise God during the hard times as well. My wife Cindy's favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, 


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)


God has a plan for our lives and his plan is to prosper us, not to harm us. What stands in the way of that plan? We do. Our own plans stand in the way. Like little children, we want to have our own way, while the Father is trying to show us His way, but we are so adamant that it has to be our way that we miss what God would have for us. Then, when we fail, we want to know why God didn't bless us. Why didn't He come to our aid to fulfill our plan? 


I believe there are two kinds of atheist, those who think they are too smart to believe in God, and those who are angry at God. The first kind has faith only in their own intelligence, therefore, cannot comprehend a higher intelligence. The other kind has had some event in their lives that caused them to cry out to God and when He did not answer the way they thought He should, they got angry and bitter toward God to the point of denying His existence. 


Unfortunately, even believers can act this way sometimes. When things don't go our way, we question God, we wonder why He's not hearing our prayers. God always hears our prayers, but our plans are not His plans, our schedule is not His schedule. When we truly seek the will of the Father, we are thankful and we praise God, no matter what is going on in our lives and the challenges we face. 


No, it's not easy to be thankful when things are bad, but remember the story. God's blessing came from a fire that destroyed everything the man owned, everything he had worked so hard to achieve. We have to learn to praise God when the sun is shining and when the rain is falling. 


And yes, we need to praise God even while our hut is burning. 



By Steve Reese


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