STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM
COURAGE FROM JESUS
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man
remains in me and I in him, he
will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do
nothing. John 15:5
Yesterday we read the testimony of Kefa Sampangi in
Uganda when he was
threatened with death by Idi Amin’s goon squad. The story
“Father in heaven,” I prayed, “you who have forgiven men in the past, forgive
these men also. Do not let them perish in their sins but
bring them into
It was a simple prayer, prayed in deep
fear. But God looked beyond my fears
and when I lifted my head, the men
standing in front of me were not the same
men who had followed me into the vestry. Something had changed in their faces.
It was the tall one who
spoke first. His voice was bold but there was no
contempt in his words, “You
have helped us,” he said, “and we will help you.
We will speak to the rest of
our company and they will leave you alone. Do not
fear for your life. It is
in our hands and you will be protected.”
I was too astonished to reply.
The tall one only motioned for the others to
leave. He himself stepped to the
doorway and then he turned to speak one last
time. “I saw widows and orphans
in your congregation,” he said. “I saw them
singing and giving praise. Why
are they happy when death is so near?”
It was still difficult to speak
but I answered him. “Because they are loved by
God. He has given them life,
and will give life to those they loved, because
they died in Him.”
question seemed strange to me, but he did not stay to explain. He only
his head in perplexity and walked out the door. I stared at the open
the vestry for several moments and then sat down on a nearby straw mat
My knees were no longer strong and I could feel my whole body tremble.
could not think clearly. Less than ten minutes before, I had
myself a dead man. Even though I was surrounded by 7,000 people
there was no
human being to whom I could appeal. I could not ask the elders
to pray, I
could not appeal to the mercy of the Nubian killers. My mouth had
frozen and I
had no clever words to speak. In that moment, with death so
near, it was not
my sermon that gave me courage, or an idea from Scripture.
It was Jesus
Christ, the living Lord.
RESPONSE: Today I will walk
in the power of the living Lord and not in my own
PRAYER: Lord, help me realize that You are my sufficiency.
Without You, I can