We saw your signal.

“My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.  When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.” Isaiah 26:9 

Following a recent shipwreck, a story about a lone survivor of such a calamity flashed back.  It told about the only survivor of a shipwreck who was washed up on a small, uninhabited island.  He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him.  Every passing day he scanned the horizon for help, but nothing seemed to be coming for his rescue.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood and palm branches to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions that he was able to gather before being plunged into the ocean.  One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke billowing up to the sky in a long column on that still day.  He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost.  He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger and he cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'

Early the next day, he was awakened from his bed of sand by the sound of a ship 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.  These children from Thomassique have been praying and bringing wood to use to cook food at their school for many months and God has answered their prayers.  You have seen their smoke signal and they shout “Beni Soit L’Eternal!” as they saw you coming. 

If there is a moral to this story it would be that it is so easy to get discouraged when things are going bad and all seems lost, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering.  Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground that it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.  I close today with the words from the hymn ‘Jesus, Savior, Come to Me’ that was written by Johann Scheffler in 1657. 

“Jesus, Savior, come to me; let me ever be with Thee, come and nevermore depart, Thou who reignest in my heart.  Lord, for Thee I ever sigh, nothing else can satisfy.  Ever do I cry to Thee: Jesus, Jesus, come to Me!  Earthly joys can give no peace, cannot bid my longing cease; still to have my Jesus near, this is all my pleasure here.  All that makes the angels glad, in their garb of glory clad, only fills me with distress if Thy presence does not bless.  Thou alone, my God and Lord, art my Glory and Reward.  Thou hast bled for me and died; in Thy wounds I safely hide.  Come, then, Lamb for sinners slain, come and ease me of my pain.  Evermore I cry to Thee: Jesus, Jesus, come to me!  Patiently I wait Thy Day; for this gift, O Lord, I pray, that, when death shall come to me, my dear Jesus Thou wilt be” 

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay