Monday, April 13, 2020

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, April 13, 2020

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall…famine…?

The question asked is a personal one. Not “what” can separate us but “who”? The inference is our enemy, Satan, who tries every tactic he can garner to make us think we can be separated from Christ’s love. Today we look at his tactic of “famine.”

Wilson Chen from Vietnam spent five years in one of those harsh and primitive re-education camps. He was forced to spend long hours of hard backbreaking work clearing jungles for farmland, cutting trees for lumber and farming the fields. He had looked forward to a successful secular career and also to marrying his lovely girlfriend. In his final year in camp, he received the crushing news that his girlfriend had given up hope, married another and escaped from Vietnam.

The camp food was barely enough to keep him alive. “The constant brutality attacked our minds and spirits; the malnutrition attacked our bodies,” he recalls. The constant hunger drove them to eat anything. He would search the ground with other prisoners for rats, toads, worms, snakes, insects, and birds to supplement their diet and keep them alive and to simply ease the feeling of constant hunger.

Wilson remembers companions who went insane from the pressure of hunger. Others committed suicide. Many died from diseases caused by malnutrition.

That very night they were subjected to mental torture and political indoctrination. Always in their minds were thoughts of escape. But Wilson Chen says, “It was hope in the Lord Jesus that kept me alive. I fed this hope by secretly reading the Scriptures...” In that camp situation, Wilson promised the Lord that he would serve him if he ever received the opportunity. The Holy Spirit whispered to him, “You have opportunities right here!” Very soon three fellow-prisoners came to know the Lord.

Camp experiences helped him reflect on the significance of the sufferings of Jesus. In that context, he found refreshment and exhilaration in his own weakness. And he says, “...Jesus gave me peace in the midst of tribulation.”

RESPONSE: I will live this day aware that famines can never separate me from Christ’s love.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that You give peace in the midst of tribulations.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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