Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15
Brother Duan was an elderly house church leader in northern China. He was travelling with a group of believers today to hear a dynamic Bible teacher, Brother Wang.
Duan asked, “What age is this Brother Wang?” When they told him he was in his early forties, a great look of pain swept Duan’s face. He said, “I once had a son. I knew him for only two months. Now he’s dead. But had he lived, he would be forty-two today. My wife called him “Christmas’ Child,” since he was born at Christmas time. I called him “Isaac,” because we had despaired of ever having a child, but ten years after we were married, along he came.”
All looked at Duan as he continued, “I only saw him for two months.” He then told them how he and his wife were greatly persecuted evangelists in the 1950’s—both in great danger of arrest. So they offered their child to their enemy, two-fingered Wu and his wife who were childless.
Duan never knew what happened until he came out of jail in 1978. His dear wife had died in the terrible famine of 1958. Their son had indeed been adopted by Wu, but the entire family had disappeared under the rubble when a devastating earthquake hit in 1975. Said Duan sadly as they approached the meeting house, “God judged me for being so irresponsible with my little son.”
There was a crowd of two hundred packed into the house, and many outside at the windows. When Brother Wang began preaching, Duan got a terrible shock. It was like hearing himself. There was a commotion as he clawed his way to the window and looked at the preacher.
Hearing the commotion, the preacher stopped. There was minute of shocked silence as both men looked at each other. The physical likeness was amazing. Duan began to apologize, “I’m sorry Brother Wang 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.”
Brother Wang began to tremble violently. Suddenly his legs buckled beneath him, and someone caught him before he fell down. Tears came into his eyes, and he whispered hoarsely, clutching his pounding chest, “Are you Daddy Duan?”
Everyone wept. Father and son were reunited after forty-two years. Wang had indeed been brought up by two-fingered Wu, who had been so impressed by Duan’s act of giving that he became a strong believer. Wu used to say to him, “I’m not your real father. He is a great man of God, full of grace and love. He gave you to me, and I give you all my love, and the encouragement to put God first, just like your real father.” Wang’s adopted parents had moved away from the earthquake zone before the tragedy, and both died of cancer in their sixties. He became an evangelist, and tried to find his real father, but Duan had changed his name so many times to avoid arrest that he had proved untraceable, even to his son.
As father and son continued to hug and weep, the elder of the church stood up and declared, “It’s December. We have seen our sermon tonight. “Christ came into the world to save sinners” - that is Christmas. Just as Duan handed his only son to the care of his enemy, so God handed over his own son to us sinners. Let us rejoice in their reconciliation and ours too.”
RESPONSE: Today I will rejoice in God’s act of reconciliation in sending His only Son for me, a sinner.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord that You cared enough to provide a way for my being reconciled to You.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.