Daily Devotional

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12 (ESV)

A couple of weeks ago, I boarded a bus with thirty other Christians and headed to Sacramento for the March for Life.  It was a gathering of prayer warriors from across the State of California, converging together to stand up for the rights of unborn children in the womb.  Even in the face of recent legislation that “enshrined” abortion in our state’s constitution, a few thousand of us gathered on the steps of the Capitol building to declare that we are not going to shut up and we are not going to go away!  

As the rally began, all of a sudden, sirens went off behind us that were deafening, distracting and disorienting.  We began hearing the shouts of protestors using their megaphones and speakers to blast profanity, music and chanting – whatever they could come up with to disrupt the assembly.  It sounded like a mob of hundreds of angry protestors were clamoring behind us, held back by a small cadre of police officers.
I admit I felt a little scared and intimidated at that moment.  Standing on the steps in front of the Capitol, I felt like a tiny, disenfranchised minority, ignored and dismissed by the pro-choice politicians who control our government.  I found myself wondering, “What good is this going to do? Those people in there probably aren’t even listening to us.  They could care less we are here. They’re going to do whatever they want, regardless of whether we are here.”

At that moment, the rally ended and the march around the Capitol building began.  The crowd, huddled together on the steps, began to stretch out like a giant snake winding around the block.

As I made my way toward the street, I saw something that changed my life.  To my amazement, I saw that the crowd of protestors was nothing more than a dozen teenagers or college students with sirens and boom-boxes and cheap microphones.  They weren’t the colossal crowd of resistance-fighters I had imagined.

Then it hit me.  I was standing at the Capitol feeling like an outcast minority who had no voice or influence or political power.  And I was tempted to shrink back in fear and discouragement.  But here was a tiny group of 10 or 15 trouble-makers intimidating a crowd of thousands!  It was as if the Lord said to me: “Don’t think you’re not making a difference! You see what 10 people can accomplish who are willing to stand up for what they believe in.  Imagine what I am going to do with thousands of you standing up for the lives of these innocent children.”
At that point it began raining.  And not just raining, but hailing as we marched around the Capitol.  I prayed: “Really, Lord?  It’s been sunny all morning.  You’re sovereign over the rain.  Why are you letting this happen right now?”  Strangely, the moment the march ended, the rain stopped and the sun came back out.

This side of heaven, I may never know why God allowed it to rain on us, and I may never know what he accomplished that day in Sacramento.  But I believe there was a war in the heavenly realms that spilled out onto the earth.
One believer tweeted: “It rained.  It hailed.  But we still marched.”

Another Christian was convinced this was an Isaiah 45:8 moment – “I will send victory from the sky like rain; the earth will open to receive it and will blossom with freedom and justice. I, the LORD, will make this happen.”

One thing is for sure, to stand up for life in the State of California, it’s going to take commitment and courage and a willingness to be inconvenienced and step out of our comfort zone.  We have to be willing to walk in the rain.  And when we do that… when we remain steadfast under trial, not only will God use us to save the lives of children and families who are threatened by abortion, but he will bless us too.  One day, when we have stood the test and persevered to the end, we will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.