The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and in which to store his few possessions.
But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. “God, how could you do this to me!” he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.
The weary man asked his rescuers: “How did you know I was here?”
They replied: “We saw your smoke signal.”
It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, the next time your little hut is burning to the ground — it just may be the smoke signal that summons the grace of God.
A man made a promise to carry a cross to the top of a mountain if a certain wish of his was satisfied.
God granted him what he asked for.
He had the cross made, and set out on his climb. After a few days he found that the cross weighed more than he had reckoned. He borrowed a saw to cut off a good section of the wood. On reaching the top of the mountain he noted that, separated by a gulf, there was another mountain.
Over on the other side, everything was peace and tranquility, but he needed a bridge to get over there.
He tried to use the cross-but it was a bit too short.
And then he realized that the piece he had cut off was exactly what was missing to enable him to cross the abyss.
Once an unhappy young man came to an old master and told he had a very sad life and asked for a solution.
The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.
“How does it taste?” – the Master asked.
“Terrible.” – spat the apprentice.
The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled his handful of salt into the lake.
The old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the Master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Good!” – remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” – asked the Master.
“No.” – said the young man.
The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the ‘pain’ depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
The Story of the Butterfly……..
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily but
it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it,
expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge
and expand enough to support the body,
In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life
It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness
and haste did not understand:
The restricting cocoon and the struggle
required by the butterfly to get through the opening
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready
for flight once that was achieved.
Sometimes struggles are exactly
what we need in our lives.
Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been
and we would never fly.