STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

THE COURAGE THAT MADE CHRISTMAS
POSSIBLE
========================================
“She will give birth to
a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because
he will save his
people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Chinese evangelist, Brother Xi, was
travelling one very cold Christmas Eve in
the rugged province of Gansu. As he
came to the next village he sensed
something was wrong. He introduced himself
as a bearer of good news. A small
man interrupted, “Well we have only bad
news here right now. A couple has just
had their baby stolen.” In the poorer
areas of China, where couples are
restricted to one child, it is not uncommon
to have child snatching, even
stealing babies for wealthy childless couples
in the cities.

He stepped inside the house to find both husband and wife
staring quietly at
him. The couple’s grief hung heavy in the air. He said,
“I’m so sorry to hear
about your plight, but I know someone who may
help…God. Let me pray to Him.”

There was no reaction on the couple’s
faces, so he went into prayer, feeling
very uncomfortable indeed. “Dear
Father, many years ago at this same time of
year you sent a child into the
world and rescued us all; we ask today that you
will send back this child to
us, and deliver this village from the sadness
which grips it,
Amen.”

Suddenly the young husband spoke, “Shut up and go away. We have
prayed to our
gods and nothing has happened. Why should yours be any
different?” He was
grabbed from behind by the other villagers and propelled
out of the village.
“Don’t you dare come here again!” they bawled.

He wandered the hills in a daze of humiliation, tears, and crying to God. Then
he thought l went to that village expecting a hero’s welcome, or at the
very
least, I relied on being a curiosity, quizzed and entertained by people
who
live very dull and isolated lives. Instead, I had only been treated a
little
like Christ was treated.

Kneeling there in the snow, he knew
what he had to do—go back to that village,
knowing for sure he would be
despised. This was to follow in the Master’s
footsteps. With a pounding heart
he turned and began to walk slowly back
towards the village. Suddenly, across
the still late afternoon air, he heard a
baby’s cry coming from what appeared
to be an old well shaft.

Sure enough six feet down was a little baby,
wrapped in a thick blanket, lying
at the bottom of the dry-well. He climbed
down to hug some warmth back into
it. It was a baby girl. Those who snatched
it did not know it was a girl, and
finding later that it was, left it in this
old well to die.

He walked back to the village with the precious bundle
of life. The villagers
came running. They were amazed and overjoyed as they
led him to the cottage of
the poor couple, and the smile on the mother’s face
as he placed her baby into
her lap was unforgettable. “Come, warm yourself by
the fire” said the husband.
They drew up a chair for him, and as the other
villagers crowded round, he
asked, “Who was that God you prayed
to?”

What an invitation. Here he was, the honored guest, looking at
thirty eager
people, waiting with bated breath to hear the Gospel. “Well,” he
began, “He
came to earth in the form of a little baby, just about this time
2000 years
ago…”

RESPONSE: Today I will praise God that He is truly
in control and can work out
all situations for good.

PRAYER: Thank God
today for the coming of His Son to earth in humble yet
powerful glory!

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