waking giants, hiding prophets and god is working

The giant has awoken! 
This blog has lain dormant for a quite a while, sleeping at the bottom of the church website, undisturbed and undisturbing. But now is the time for it to rise from the shadows, go forth and make fairly random devotional thoughts now and again. To be fair it is more like the waking of a church mouse than the rousing of a giant but a giant makes for a better title.
So for what purpose has this blog been dusted off and put back on show? 
It was something that Alistair said on Sunday that sparked off this spontaneous resurrection. While preaching on 1 Kings, he told us about when Elijah told Obadiah to let the king know that Elijah wanted to see him. Obadiah was understandably sceptical about the task. He feared that Elijah would not make his appointment with the monarch and he would be left to carry the can. But Elijah assured him that the prophet would keep his word and the meeting would take place.
Alistair encouraged us to 'Trust in God's Sovereign Power'. Even in difficult days when the prophets had to be hidden in caves to escape the wrath of the king, God wants His people to be faithful in obedience, trusting that God is working out His good will.
This reminded me of the close of a chapter in a book called 'By Their Blood'. It is a modern Foxes Book of Martyrs, telling the stories of the martyrs of the 20th century, up until 1979 when it was published. One of the most fascinating chapters is the one on China. We are told of the many Christians who suffered and died there. From the Boxer Rebellion to the Communist regime, it was a dangerous place to be a believer. And it ends with a section called 'The Chinese Church Refuses to Die'. There were a million Chinese Christians before the Communists took over in the 1940's and that had dwindled. In a country of almost a billion that's not a lot. 
The writer ends with a note of cautious optimism; he encourages Christians to pray and suggests:
'Perhaps the best answer can be found on a charred page of the New Testament, recovered by a Chinese Christian after the Red Guards had burned his Bible. Standing out were these words: Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.'
That chapter was written about 35 years ago. Today there are approximately 67 million Christians in China. 
Keep gong. We never know what God is preparing for just around the corner. There are difficult times. There are times when we must hide in caves. But our God prepares mighty things in those caves. 

Aaron* Williamson, 29/01/2014