Trust God with your life

Duan was stranded! It was the middle of winter and the engine of the bus had just given up its battle with the cold. He had been travelling south and was now stuck somewhere in the Chinese province of Henan. Duan was a pastor in northern China. He was now 77 years old and he still had no home to call his own. He prayed for guidance as to what to do next. The sun had already set so he trudged off in the darkness through fields covered with snow. As he walked his mind reflected on his long life as a Christian and the things he had experienced. He thought of his dear wife who had died long ago and then after a while a picture of their little son whom they lost floated into his tired mind.

Finally after what seemed like ages, Duan arrived at the next village. Again praying for guidance, he suddenly noticed a house with a little cross notched on the doorpost. Duan knocked on the door and was warmly welcomed by a Christian family. They were all very excited, because that  evening they were travelling to a neighbouring town to hear a dynamic Bible teacher  called brother Wang from one of the big cities. They asked Duan to accompany them.

On their way to the meeting the family told him all about brother Wang.  Duan then asked "How old is he?" When they told him that he was in his early forties, Duan commented "I once had a son. I knew him for only 2 months. Now he's dead, but had he lived he would have been 42 by now. We called him Isaac because like Abraham and Sarah we had despaired of ever having a child." The family listened intently as Duan revealed to them an amazing story.  "After ten years of marriage and many prayers, along he came just like we were Abraham and Sarah in the Book of Genesis!"

"My wife and I were evangelists in the 1950's and were often in danger of arrest by the communist authorities. An old school bully of mine called Wu kept accusing us of imperialism. When our son was born we became worried. What would happen to him if we were both killed or imprisoned. We were terrified for our new born child."

"One night something supernatural happened. My wife heard a Voice in a vision that said, "Give your son to your enemy." She said nothing about it to me, but the following day I happened to be reading   Genesis ch 22.  When I came to verse 2 ‘get Isaac your only son, the one whom you dearly love and sacrifice him to Me', I felt God say that there was something vital we needed to do with our son. I then shared this strong conviction with my wife who in turn told me about the vision she had been given the night before.  Knowing that the story of Isaac ended happily {foreshadowing that God Himself would sacrifice His own Son for us on the Cross}  and  knowing too  that God foreknows the future, we  obeyed and  offered our son to Wu and his wife who were childless."

"A few days later both of us were arrested on groundless charges and I was sentenced to life in prison. When I finally managed to get out of jail in 1978 I  was informed  by the authorities that  Wu, his  entire family and my son  had been  killed in an earthquake in 1975." The family listened in stunned silence, little realising that the events of the evening were about to become even more dramatic.

They finally arrived at the crowded church. When brother Wang began to speak Duan got a terrible shock.  It was like hearing himself preaching.  Even the preacher's phrases were similar and the physical resemblance was uncanny. Duan stood up to see better. Wang noticed him standing and after a moment stopped  talking. There was a minute of silence as both men looked at each other over the heads of the congregation. Finally Duan began to apologise "I am sorry brother 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."  You could have heard a pin drop in the church.

Tears came to Wang's eyes when he then asked "Are you daddy Duan?" In front of a packed church, father and son were reunited after 42 years.  When everyone had calmed down Wang explained to his father and the congregation what had happened to him after he had been adopted by Wu.

He explained that Wu had been so impressed by Duan's act of faithful giving that he decided to explore the Christian faith for himself and eventually became a strong and committed Christian. Wu brought up Wang as a Christian and regularly said to him "I am not your real father. He is a great man of God. He gave you to me and I give you all my love and the encouragement to put God first, just like your real father did." All but Wang had died in the earthquake and as he grew in his depth of faith God used him as an inspirational Bible teacher to help others find Christ.

This heart-warming incident from the persecuted   Chinese church teaches us a valuable lesson. In 1st Samuel ch 2v30 God promises "Those who honour Me I will honour." Duan and his wife trusted that when God instructed them to give up their son to their enemy He had profound reasons for asking such a thing and would mightily bless such a sacrifice. As a result of their obedience God indeed "honoured" them by their enemy turning to Christ and then ultimately by their son becoming a Bible teacher through whom the Lord was able to encourage and support thousands of persecuted followers.

If on the other hand, Duan and his wife had refused to obey God the outcome would have been very different. Their arrest would have taken place just the same but this time the authorities would have taken their son away just as they feared.  Most probably the authorities would have made sure the child was raised as an atheist and thousands of people enduring persecution would have been deprived of a great spiritual leader.

When God commands us to do some particular thing, follow some particular path, or perhaps give up something or someone, let us make sure we faithfully obey, because truly God will ultimately bless and honour those who honour Him.