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June 2013

NEVER ALONE

By John Carter

 
He found salvation in a bucket of human excrement.  Here’s how it happened: The atheistic Communists imprisoned a Vietnamese Christian because he was not ashamed of his faith in Christ.  He was beaten, starved, and locked up in a filthy cage.  The atheists kept him awake for days on end.  A rope fastened to the roof rafters was tied around his neck, so that he was forced to stand on his toes.  As he would collapse into unconsciousness, the rope would bite into his neck and jerk him awake.  All the while his captors asked him where was his God, and why He did not answer His servant’s prayers.  “Give up your foolish ideas” they shouted, “and we will let you go.”
 
Finally, beaten and broken, with hope almost gone, he was sent to work in the stinking outhouses.  His job was to carry huge buckets of human excrement.  In his weakened condition, he found it almost impossible to hoist the heavy buckets onto his shoulder; he staggered beneath the load.  The foul smelling stuff sloshed over him as in his heart a question mark was formed, “If God loves me, why doesn’t He save me?”
 
Then one day he saw floating on top of one of the buckets a small piece of paper.  It was a page from his Bible.  The camp commandant had confiscated his precious little holy book and later used it as toilet paper.
 
Quickly the prisoner scooped it up and hid it beneath his rotting clothing. That evening late at night when all was quiet, he read the words, “I will never, never leave you or forsake you.”  (Heb. 13:5)  God had spoken.  How could he doubt again?
 
Within a few weeks, a new camp commandant was appointed and the Christian was released.
 
Never, dear friend, doubt His presence, His care, or His love.  Even when the night is dark and fears threaten to engulf us, He is there.  From His calm eternity, He is working all things for our good. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  (Romans 8:28 NIV)  
 
“God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm. 
 
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread 
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head. 
 
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour; 
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
 
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.”
 
~William Cowper
 
Look up, dear friend, you are never alone.

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