Do you know how to listen to God’s voice and welcome the Lord?
By Mu Xue
One day, I read a short story: After a shipwreck, the sole survivor drifted toward an uninhabited island with the tide. Day after day he sincerely prayed to God to save him out of this place earlier so that he could return to his hometown. And every day he gazed out to sea to see if there was any sign of ship. But there was nothing except a vast expanse of water. Later, he used wood of the island to build a shanty to protect himself in the perilous environment and to store all his remains. But one day when he finished fishing and went back, he suddenly found that his shanty was in roaring flames with heavy smoke climbing up to the sky continuously. The most miserable thing was that all his possessions had become nothing. He was grieved and yelled up at the sky, “Oh God! How could you act so?” He lost the shanty for shelter, and had a really rough night in great fear. Early the next morning, he was awakened by the siren of a ship approaching the island. Yes, someone was coming to rescue him. When on board, he asked the crew, “How do you know I’m here?” They replied, “Because we have seen the signal-like thick smoke.”
After reading this story, I perceived that when we sometimes encounter difficulties and tribulations or have something deprived, it may not necessarily be a bad thing. Just like the survivor on the island, a fire burned down his hut, but the sailors found the heavy smoke, then rescued him from the island, and brought him back to his hometown. All things and events are under God’s control. Despite the sufferings, refinements, frustrations and failures we encounter, it contains God’s love. When we don’t know His will and have no knowledge of His work, we will misunderstand God and complain against Him. But He has mercy on our weakness; when we suffer misfortunes, hopelessness and disappointment, He is always watching over and protecting us, rescuing us time after time. Just as God says, “basically every individual has encountered many dangerous situations and undergone many temptations. This is because Satan is right there beside you, its eyes fixed on you constantly. It likes it when disaster strikes you, when calamities befall you, when nothing goes right for you, and likes it when you are caught in Satan’s net. As for God, He is protecting you constantly, keeping you from one misfortune after another and from one disaster after another. This is why I say that everything man has—peace and joy, blessings and personal safety—is in fact all under God’s control, and He guides and decides the life and fate of every individual.” Psalms ofsays, “Oh how great is your goodness, which you have laid up for them that fear you; which you have worked for them that trust in you before the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret of your presence from the pride of man: you shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD: for he has showed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city” (Psalms 31:19-21). God’s work is unfathomable, but His love for us humans is eternally immutable. That God created the heavens and the earth and all things is for us mankind, and all He does is for us mankind to live better. God rules over and guides the life and fate of every one of us, so we all spend our life in safety under His care and protection.
Maybe you are at a low point in your life or encounter hardships at the moment, but please don’t lose your confidence because of this. As long as we truly rely on God and believe that He is watching by our sides, perhaps one day soon, we will see that something unpleasant is exactly God’s great protection and salvation toward us, and is the moment that He stretches out His hands of salvation toward us.
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