The story is told of a man stranded alone on a deserted island. As the months passed and hope of rescue faded, he managed to survive.
He discovered a fresh water source, and although food was not plentiful, he found enough sustenance to keep himself alive.
He constructed a rough hut to give protection from the elements. Though not fancy, he was thankful for its shade from the hot sun, and its shelter from rain and wind.
But one day even this scant comfort was snatched from him. His little hut caught fire and burned to the ground.
Standing beside the ruins of smoking ash, he shook his fist and shouted at God, “How could you let this happen? Haven’t you taken away enough from me already?”
He slept cold and lonely on the beach that night, still angry at God.
But as the morning dawned and the sun rose over the beach, a ship came into view, headed straight for the island.
Miles away, the captain had seen the smoke from his burning hut.
The fire—what he viewed as a tragic loss—had saved him.
All through Scripture, we see examples of God using what appears to be tragedy to save His children.
Ruth lost her husband and was left destitute in a foreign land with no funds to provide for herself and her mother-in-law. She was forced to glean handfuls of grain in the field of a stranger in order to eat.
But what happened? The back-breaking labor led her straight to Boaz, who would take her as his wife, love her, and protect her.
In Genesis we read of Joseph, and how time after time he suffered through no wrong doing of his own. I wonder if he felt the final straw was being thrown into prison under false accusation?
But that prison led straight to the throne room of Egypt. His prison cell was but a step upward to the throne.
On and on we could go.
The Red Sea, blocking the Israelites’ path to freedom, became that which God used to crush their enemies.
The persecution of the early Christian church became that which God used to spread the Gospel around the globe.
Paul’s imprisonment became that which enabled him to preach to kings and rulers.
I’m not saying it’s easy to bear up under the tragedies of life.
And I’m not saying you’re always going to know immediately why God let your hut burn to the ground.
What I am saying is this—God knows what He is doing. When He allows tragedy into your life, He has a reason.
It’s okay to ask Him why, but in the midst of asking, don’t lose your faith. Keep trusting Him.
For He has a way of turning tragedy into triumph, and bringing deliverance from the very thing you felt would break you.
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me (Joseph); but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” (Psalm 9:9-10)