Pastor and author Chuck Swindoll tells the story of a man who found himself shipwrecked on an uninhabited island. He painstakingly built himself a small hut for his protection from the elements, where he could keep the few items he managed to recover from the wreckage. For weeks this man lived in his little hut, surviving the hot days and the cold nights, praying that he would be found, praying that a ship would come. But none came.
One day he was out looking for some food, and when he returned he was shocked to find that his little hut had caught fire and burned to the ground. He couldn’t believe his bad fortune when he went to sleep that night. But when he woke up the next morning, there was a ship anchored at his small island. The captain of the ship told him, “We saw your smoke signal, and we came to rescue you.”
What can seem like a disaster may end up being a smoke signal to Heaven. There are storms that come into our lives not as a result of our disobedience but actually because of our obedience. A good example of this is Job. What was Job doing wrong when all those calamities befell him? Nothing. God allowed them to bring about change in his life.
James wrote, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (1:2–4 NLT).
Maybe you’re in the midst of a storm right now. God has allowed it to make you more like Jesus.