There was a gold prospector who got caught in a blizzard in the Alaskan wilderness. He hiked for three days in blinding whiteness, lost, starving, frozen, and alone. The prospector prayed to God to save him, but all that came was more snow. On the fourth day the prospector’s strength failed him, and he lay down to die. Just at that moment an Eskimo hunting party wandered past. They strapped the prospector to their sled and dragged him back into town.
That night as he lay safe and warm in his bed, the prospector prayed to God again. “Lord,” he prayed, “when I asked for your help and it didn’t come, I thought you had forsaken me. But then as I was about to die, you sent those Eskimos. It is a great comfort for me to know that the moment things seem the most hopeless is the moment when you will intervene.”
All at once the prospector felt a strange and powerful presence, and God’s voice sounded in his head. “No,” God said, “you are mistaken. I was the one who sent the blizzard. I had nothing to do with those Eskimos. It was dumb luck that they came by when they did. If you want to take comfort in something, take comfort in knowing that if you should freeze to death in the wilderness, that would be part of My plan, and My plan is the right one because it’s Mine.”