When You Find Yourself...

Our whole perspective changes when, finding ourselves in a hard place, we realize the Lord has either placed us there or allowed us to be there, perhaps for reasons presently known only to Himself.

On their first wedding anniversary, August 18, 1938, Russell and Darlene Deibler arrived in New Guinea to labor in the jungles for Christ. When the Japanese invaded the East Indies, the two were torn apart, and Russell was interned in a concentration camp where he died.

Darlene was imprisoned in another military camp where she suffered years of forced labor, indignity, near starvation, and afflictions such as beriberi, dysentery, and intestinal worms.

One day she was singled out for execution. Shock troops took her to a death camp and directed her toward a stark cell. These words were written on the door in chalk: Orang ini musti mati, "This person must die." The guards shoved her in the cell, and as the door slammed shut, Darlene fell on her knees to peer through the keyhole. When she saw the key make a complete revolution, she knew she was as good as dead.

As the footsteps of the guard receded, she fell backward a a in a cold sweat, trembling, fighting off sheer terror. Just then she found herself singing a song she had learned as a child in Sunday in school back in Iowa:

Fear not. Little flock,
Whatever your lot;
He enters all rooms,
"The doors being shut."

He never forsakes,
He never is gone,
So count on His presence
In darkness and dawn.

("Only Believe" by Daniel Reader)

Darlene felt strong arms about her, and she knew that though her captors could lock her in, they could not lock out her wonderful Lord. She was in an impossible spot, but she was there with a God who does impossible feats. She was there in His will, and she knew that His will would never put her where His presence could not sustain her.

That assurance bore her through impossible times and preserved her life despite impossible odds.'

Consider these men and women who, through no fault of their own, found themselves beset with soul-disabling difficulties while trying to follow God.

Hagar, a single mom, was forced into the desert with her boy to die of thirst.

Joseph, wanting to fulfill divine dreams, was seized, stripped, sold as a slave, and imprisoned in Egypt.

Moses was caught between the splendors of Egyptian royalty and thankless affliction with God's people.

David, being anointed by Samuel, was pursued by Israelite troops.

Hezekiah, seeking revival, was trapped by the most powerful army on earth, bent on annihilating his people.

The Lord's disciples sailed at His command on Galilee only to face a terror-filled night of storms and waves.

The Son of man Himself, fulfilling the Father's will, was nailed fast to wood and left to hang by His hands until dead.

The apostles, trying to preach this Crucified One, were horsewhipped

Robert J. Morgan, The Red Sea Rules. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001, p. 7 - 9.

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