I read a short story of a man who was the sole survivor of a shipwreck.
He was washed up on a desert island and he prayed to God to send somebody to rescue him, but for days no one came. He decided to gather all the material he could find to build a small shelter for protection hoping it would keep him alive a little longer. But tragically, the next day, while he was out trying to catch fish, his shelter caught on fire and burned to the ground.
He was completely devastated, the absolute worst thing had happened and now there was no chance that he would be able to survive. He went to bed that night feeling like all hope was lost. The next morning, he was awakened by a loud horn. A ship had come to his rescue! With great joy, he asked the captain how he had been found and to his shock, the man replied, ‘I saw your smoke signal.’
Many of us can relate to this man’s grief. In some area of our lives we have felt devastated by what appears to be a completely hopeless situation. Illness, betrayal, death, heartbreak, natural disaster. There are times when we feel like everything around us is being burned to the ground. In those desperate and forlorn circumstances, we must remember that God has promised to comfort us (Psalm 137:4), restore us (1 Peter 5:10), meet all of our needs (Phil 4:19) and give us hope for the future (Jeremiah 29:11).
The Bible shows us countless examples of God turning hopeless situations around for His Glory. Daniel surviving the lions, the three young men surviving the flames, Jonah surviving the fish, the Hebrews surviving the Red Sea. And the list goes on. God often transforms what we think is the end, into a blessing in disguise. He will turn our suffering into something good. “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19).
Through Christ, God saved us from the most hopeless of situations; eternal death. What then, can He not do? As Corrie Ten Boom declared, “There is no pit so deep that God’s Love is not deeper still.” When you feel as though you’re at the end of your rope, when you don’t think you have the strength to go on another day, remember, God will never abandon you. He sees your desperation, He sees your pain, He sees your smoke signal. And He’s coming to rescue you.