Daily Devotional for September 23, 2021

While much of what I have seen in my fifty-nine years has been forgotten, there are some things that are indelibly etched in my mind.  One of these happened in June of 1998.

In China, thousands of students had gathered in Tiananmen Square to protest the oppressive violations of human rights by the Chinese Government.

On June 4th, the entire world watched in horror as Chinese armored personnel carriers smashed through barriers and crushed the protestors beneath their tracks.

Students were beaten, arrested, thrown in jail, and killed.  The demonstration was brutally crushed.  It was over.

The next morning, televisions cameras recorded an incredible encounter.

As a column of tanks rolled down a broad street, out walked one man, probably a student.

He defiantly stood in front of the tanks as they kept rolling towards him.  He refused to step aside. 

The world watched as this one little, fragile human being stood in front of tons of steel that kept bearing down on him.

The lead tank tried to go around, but when the tank altered its course, the young man walked in front again.  The tank ground to a halt. 

I watched in fascination and awe as this lone man stood before the military might of China.  It was truly one of the most extraordinary things I had ever seen.

Followers of Christ can learn a lot from this unknown student who stood against power of the world.  He did not back down because he knew his purpose.  He opposed the unopposable.

To be a Christian is to understand we have a purpose and security, even in the midst of a chaotic world.

To be a Christian is to be willing to charge the gates of hell with a glass of water, if that is what God asks.

To be a Christian is to trust God even as the unstoppable tanks of life roll towards us.

Our call, vocation, and purpose is to remain faithful, no matter what the world sends our direction.  We can do this because God has already won.

This is what Jesus meant by saying, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

The world will never know the identity of this anonymous man who defied China, but his example will live forever.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me remain faithful in those moments when it looks like I will be overwhelmed by the circumstance of life.  Help me trust in you.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

While Christianity is rapidly growing in China, I do not know if this young man is a Christian. 

I hope he is because, when I get to heaven, I want to shake his hand and let him know he’s my hero.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins