Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Burning Huts

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 himself 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.

Have you had a burning hut recently? If so, start thanking God, even if you haven't seen the rescue ship yet. It's coming. Here is our burning hut story:

In January, right before we headed to Indiana, J applied for a job at Alstom. About a week and a half after we returned home, he got THE PHONE CALL, and he started work the following Monday. He liked it, liked the people, liked his boss, made friends, all that good stuff. Occasionally people would come up to me and ask if I was worried about Alstom's reputation to hire hundreds of workers, then a few months later start laying off hundreds. I always stated that I knew God had placed him there and if God saw fit to move him, then He was opening something else up. Well, those words and that faith were put to the test.

Friday - the first day the motorcycle went out - J called me at 3:45 and said, "Can you get in the truck and come get me?"

My heart stopped momentarily, I felt slightly queasy. Imaging the bike on it's side on the road or stolen, I asked, "What happened?!?"

"They let me go."

I was SILENT. My heart DEFINITELY stopped for a few beats and now I thought for sure I was going to throw up. I asked him to repeat himself, hoping for the punch line this time.

"They let me go. I need you to bring the truck so I can take my toolbox home."

Not having much else to say, I told him I would be right there. I prayed all the way down. The above hut story had arrived in my mailbox EIGHT DAYS prior to this. We watched Facing the Giants the night before and I suddenly found myself praying a similar prayer that the wife on the movie had prayed. "God, if You leave us destitute, if we never get ahead, I will still praise you. I will still love you." (Granted, hers was more along the lines of KIDS, but I have that area covered as much as I would like to cover it.) I praised and thanked - in a slightly shaky and quiet voice. I asked for peace. I told Him I trusted Him and knew He was in control. I asked Him to please give J peace and comfort and whatever else he may need. I had no idea how he was taking it or what had even happened yet.

Then I got there and saw my beloved hubby. Who was fine. And I got angry at the injustice of it all. WHY would they fire him?!? Seriously, I met his boss the DAY BEFORE! He's well liked at work, does plenty of overtime, what happened!?!? J hopped in the truck to maneuver it to the bay doors to get his tool box loaded, and in those 60 seconds we were in the truck together I was able to get the initial reason he was given: "They fired me for my heaters." This is probably more so where the anger at injustice hit. HEATERS?!?! He told me that the first three heaters he installed had to be re-done and that his boss did tell him that was relatively normal. He was learning. After that every heater he installed was perfect. So, I got a little confused. After loading the toolbox, J got back in the truck and drove to his perfectly safe, unscratched motorcycle. While driving over he was able to fill me in a little more. While signing his "discharge" papers, he asked what the REAL reason was that he was being fired. Heaters really didn't add up to him, either. His immediate boss said that J must have said something wrong to someone because it was an order that came from higher up. I talked with his mom (who works in HR down there) and she told us that they told her they were firing him because he was disrespectful to one of his bosses. His mom came to his defense and told them the only way he would show "disrespect" to a boss was if that particular boss was mistreating people. Ah.... we see the light. There was an instance with a BOSS where said BOSS came into the cab and began screaming at a worker and using every swear word in the book at a very rapid pace and personally demeaning this person. At least in Union shops, bosses are not allowed to do that. The worker quit (his bad) and J proceeded to report the actions of said boss to HR. Apparently that is a big no-no. Digging farther, we heard he was fired because he was to "negative" and then because "he had to much fun at work." I'm getting confused. Not one answer was ever the same. *sigh*

On the ten minute drive home, I was still working on processing it all and being quite shaken and.... ticked. "God, you GAVE him this job! You placed him here!! What is going on?!?!" So, I'll admit, I did the ticked off, not trusting, not praising, just flipping thing for fifteen minutes. Then I pulled in the driveway, J and I went in the house, sat down and began to talk. J's calm and peace over the entire thing helped me immensely and I was able to take that deep breath and truly say, "God, I do trust you." In my conversation with him mom, she told me that she also had that initial shock and "where are You?!" type feelings, but then felt so reassured that God was in control of this and had moved him out for a very specific reason. I started remembering the hut story and had an absolute peace. All weekend, even when the "normal" thoughts of "what will we do?!" began to creep in, I still had an overwhelming peace about it. Monday morning rolled around and he was hired by a friend of his to be his "hirer and firer" and general manager. Tuesday he started with a $4/hour pay raise. How cool is that? He is traveling to the city again, but... I just put the bike on the road. :) I know God is in control and that He has a plan. I know that over the next few months we will be seeing things unfold in our area that will make all of this even that much more clear. He is a big God, He is faithful, and He has a sense of humor. :) I don't think J will get fired for having "too much fun" over here.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who arehe called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestine to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestine, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:28-31


Vicki said...

What a wise woman you are to rest in His control.

mira said...

"if God is for us, who can be against us?" SO true, so true.

thanks for sharing, I needed that shot of faith and testimony and unspoken kick in the butt.

Jennie said...

It's wonderful to hear you say those words, it helps strengthen my own faith. We still praise Him, even when...

Bug and Eye said...

amen sister, all things DO work together for good!

lisa said...

Thanks for sharing that, Erin. That is amazing. All things do work together for good for those who love Him ... I had a short-lived job last year, and I asked God, "why did you lead me to that when it wouldn't last very long?" (Granted, it's not the full-time, supporting-the-family job your husband needed, but still ...) Something else soon came up and I realized the first job was something to tide me over and pay the bills til I got the other job. I love to see the results and the peace that comes when, as Vicki said, we "rest in His control."

lisa said...

(Wow, were we leaving comments on each others' posts at the same time?! Crazy.)

Mrs. Guthrie said...

It's taken a long time and tons of lessons to get to the point where I'm not biting my nails and worrying about what will go on... But it is so much easier to face this stuff now that I am resting in His control and peace! Wow! Wish I'd learned that sooner......

DadW said...

When MomW told me about J being let go, I felt a lot like you did -- that "pit-in-the-stomach" feeling and thinking, God just doesn't lead His people like that! Or does He? What about Paul and his 2nd missionary journey (Acts 16). He walked hundreds of miles before he got the Macedonian vision. Seems like He's working it out for the best ... and you guys are handling it right! Love yas!