The Burning Hut
The only survivor of a shipwreck 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 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 stung 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. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers.
“We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.
This is what I would call a silver lining story. Conveying that even in the darkest hour, they may be something good that will come of it. I don't see this as a reason to celebrate a tragedy, far from it. But I have been longing for a message on how to keep hope alive through repeated failure, and this little story gave me my answer. I will remember as my hut is burning, that it may just be the smoke signal that brings my rescue.