A priest was sitting at his desk by the window composing a sermon on Providence when he heard something that sounded like an explosion. Soon he saw people running to and fro in a panic and discovered that a dam had burst, the river was in spate and the people were being evacuated.
The priest saw the water begin to rise in the street below. He had some difficulty suppressing his own rising sense of panic but he, said to himself, “Here I am preparing a sermon about Providence and I am being given an occasion to practise what I preach. I shall not flee with the rest. I shall stay right here and trust
in the providence of God to save me.
By the time the water reached his window a boat full of people came by. “Jump in, Father,” they shouted, “Ah no, my children,” said Father confidently. “I trust in the providence of God to save me.”
Father did climb to the roof, however, and when the water got up there another boatload of people went by, urging Father to join them. Again he refused.
This time he climbed to the top of the belfry. When the water came up to his knees an officer in a motorboat was sent to rescue him. “No thank you, officer,” said Father, with a calm smile. “I trust in God, you see. He will never let me down.”
When Father drowned and went to heaven the first thing he did was to complain to God “I trusted you! Why did you do nothing to save me?”
“Well,” said God. “I did send three boats, you know.”