It seems that a man survived a shipwreck only to be washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed and prayed constantly for God to rescue him. Daily, almost by the moment, he checked the horizon, looking for help, help that never came.
The man eventually was able to build himself a tiny shack out of driftwood. It wasn’t much, but at least it was enough to protect him from the worst of the elements and store his few possessions.
One day, he had to work even harder to find enough food to sustain himself. He was exhausted when he arrived back at his shack only to find it in flames, the smoke billowing up in the sky.
The man was stunned with disbelief, grief, anger, and every emotion imaginable.
He fell to his knees, “God! How could you do this to me? Haven’t I suffered enough?”
Early the next morning, the man was awakened by the sound of voices. Unbelievably, a rescue party had come.
“How did you know I was here?” asked the poor man.
“We saw your smoke signal.”
Sometimes when we are in the middle of a shack fire it is hard to see beyond the smoke. It is difficult to feel that people are still basically good and caring. It is also almost impossible to remember that just beyond the smoke the sky is usually still blue.
And what a Message of Hope that is, isn’t it?