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Standing Strong Through the Storm - April 1

  • 2022 Apr 01



Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15    

Brother Duan was a house church leader in northern China. Now seventy-seven years of age, he still had no home to call his own. He was travelling with a group of believers to a neighboring town to hear a dynamic Bible teacher, Brother Wang, from one of the bigger cities.    

Duan asked, “What age is this Brother Wang?” When they told him he was in his early forties, a great look of pain swept Duan’s face. He said, “I once had a son. I knew him for only two months. Now he’s dead. But had he lived, he would be forty-two today. My wife called him “Christmas’ Child,” since he was born at Christmas time. I called him “Isaac,” because we had despaired of ever having a child, but ten years after we were married, along he came, like we were Abraham and Sarah.”    

There was silence as they rode in the open cart under the stars. All looked at Duan as he continued, “I only saw him for two months.” He then told them the incredible details. His wife and he had been greatly persecuted evangelists in the 1950’s. The child they had always prayed for suddenly came along. But they were both in great danger of arrest as evangelists.  So they decided to offer their boy to their enemy, two-fingered Wu and his wife who were childless.    

Duan never knew what happened until he came out of jail in 1978. His dear wife had died in the terrible famine of 1958. Their son had indeed been adopted by Wu, but the entire family had disappeared under the rubble when a devastating earthquake hit in 1975. Said Duan sadly as they approached the meeting house, “God judged me for being so irresponsible with my little son.”     

There was a crowd of two hundred packed into the house, so that many including Duan had to sit in the courtyard and listen to the young city teacher through the window. When Brother Wang began preaching, Duan got a terrible shock. It was like hearing himself. There was a commotion as he fell onto people, but he clawed his way to the window and looked at the preacher.    

Hearing the commotion, the preacher stopped and looked over to the window. There was minute of shocked silence as both men looked at each other. The people sat hushed. The physical likeness was amazing. Duan began to apologize, “I’m sorry everyone, and I’m sorry Brother Wang for interrupting your excellent message. You see, I had a son, who would be your age now. And if he had lived, he would have looked and sounded just like you.”     

Brother Wang began to tremble violently. Suddenly his legs buckled beneath him, and someone caught him before he fell down. Tears came into his eyes, and he whispered hoarsely, clutching his pounding chest, “Are you Daddy Duan?”    

Everyone wept. Father and son were reunited after forty-two years. Wang had indeed been brought up by two-fingered Wu, who had been so impressed by Duan’s act of giving that he became a strong believer. Wu used to say to him, “I’m not your real father. He is a great man of God, full of grace and love. He gave you to me, and I give you all my love, and the encouragement to put God first, just like your real father.” Wang’s adopted parents had moved away from the earthquake zone before the tragedy, and both died of cancer in their sixties. He became an evangelist, and tried to find his real father, but Duan had changed his name so many times to avoid arrest that he had proved untraceable, even to his son. 

As father and son continued to hug and weep, the elder of the church stood up and declared, “We have seen our sermon tonight. “Christ came into the world to save sinners.” Just as Duan handed his only son to the care of his enemy, so God handed over His own Son to us sinners. Let us rejoice in their reconciliation and ours too.”

RESPONSE: Today I will rejoice in God’s act of reconciliation in sending His only Son, Jesus, for me, a sinner.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, that You cared enough to provide a way for my being reconciled to You.

STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM (SSTS) -A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks
© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” Proverbs 10:25

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