Dad was the twins older brother and definitely took on some 'fatherly' roles since my Grandpa had MS. Grandpa passed away when all the kids were young, and my Grandma remarried to a WONDERFUL man that raised my Dad and my Aunts as his own. Skip ahead SEVERAL years and here is what has happened in my Aunt's lifetime: Her father passed away when she was young, her brother (my dad) passed away in his 20's (leaving a wife, a 3 year old son, and a 13 month old daughter), her mother and step-dad both passed away, her nephew (my brother) passed away at age 19, and in the midst of ALL this she and her sister both incur incredibly painful physical problems and no amount of surgery or medication can fully control the pain. Now remember with the pain problems, that not only is she experiencing her OWN pain, but also the pain of her twin sister!!! DOUBLE WHAMMY!
Anyway- all that to share this with you, and to remind you that no matter what your circumstance, God is doing something through it. Just trust Him since he has YOUR best interest at heart.
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. 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 to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, "God! How could you do this to me?"
Early the next day, he was awakened 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.
The Moral of This Story: It's 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 our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground.
It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.