Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Thursday, January 31, 2019 -
Late yesterday afternoon I was walking back from chow. There on the front of the building where my cell is was a perfect, large “V” as clear as day. I thought “victory!”. “V” is for victory! Eventually, God is going to give me a victory and He will get the praise. I looked very carefully to determine whether it was just the way the sun was shining on the brick wall, or if it was the bricks themselves and I’d just never noticed it before. I mentioned to Kathie in my “goodnight” email I send her every night but didn’t think of it today till I was walking back from supper about the same time as yesterday. But there was no sign of it.
One way or another, on the earth, or after, God will get the victory.
Someone (I don’t know who) sent me a copy of The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, which I hadn’t read since high school (a long time ago). She liked to say “there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” During the German invasion of Holland, Corrie heard her sister, Betsie in the kitchen and went to join her. They were both frightened. When she went back to bed, a ten-inch shard of shrapnel struck through her pillow. She ran back to Betsie saying, “If I hadn’t heard you in the kitchen…” Betsie put a finger to her mouth and said, “Don’t say it, Corrie! There are no ifs’ in God’s worlds. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will and our only safety!”
And I know God has put me and kept me here as difficult as I hate being apart from Kathie, for a purpose. Kathie and I have seen God move like this other time in our lives.
One time, God took us to Punjab during the height of their struggles for independence from India. How we got there was a miracle in itself, and I’ll briefly tell you why before giving you the example of how I know sometimes God gives us detours because He’s got something for us to do or somebody He wants us to meet.
During the mid-1980s, while the Sikhs in Punjab were mounting a revolt against India for independence, foreigners were strictly forbidden. We were in a van with indigenous missionaries heading to the Punjabi headquarters at the time of India Evangelistic Team a very effective church planting ministry. We stopped at the border crossing, coming from Jamur Kashmir, and the missionaries told us to be very still and stay in the van. They got out. In a few minutes, the border security guards came onto the van and looked around very carefully, but it was as if we were completely invisible to them. They never saw us, or our luggage! God blinded their eyes to us!
A week later, we had plane tickets to fly from the capital city, Amritsar, to Delhi, a very short flight. When we got to the airport, we had no problem getting our boarding passes, but an army officer stopped us at security, demanding to know why we were in Punjab, and that we were not allowed there. We replied, over and over again, well, we’re leaving, we’re flying to Delhi. But he was adamant, we were not getting on that plane, and turned us away. The poor young missionary that brought us to Amritsar told us we’d have to take an overnight train, but it best we did not leave from the train station in Amritsar as we might have the same problems. So we drove for two hours to a city called Jalandhar. The missionary, concerned for our safety, decided to travel with us to Delhi, and return the next day.
We had no issues boarding the train and got a sleeping cabin for four people, which we shared with a very nice Sikh man. After some extended conversation, the man asked the missionary to go back to his home to pray over his children who were sick (one deaf and one blind), and the missionary agreed to that very morning. We do not know whatever happened with the children, or the man, but we know that we were not allowed to fly that evening because God had a divine appointment for us that night.
And, I know, that through our current experience, God is setting up divine appointments. I have no idea what may result from these appointments – or how God will use them, but then again, Joseph had no idea what God had planned as a result of his divine appointments when was thrown into prison.
But I do know, God gave me a very vivid and clear sign yesterday evening, just for me, that He’s got this! He’s got a purpose! And I just need to praise and worship God!
Today, I was mailed a hardcopy of an email sent to me from Wilson and Cora Landrigan in the Philippines, working with the Aeta people, who Kathie and I have supported for about 30 years. He said, “Psalm 40:1-3 are wonderful Scriptures to ponder in times of distress and trials,” and it just so happens to echo Corrie Ten Boom’s words of wisdom: “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in mouth, and song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” This is my prayer.