November 10 – The Stand

Read: Ezekiel 21:1-22:31, Hebrews 10:1-17, Psalm 108:1-13, Proverbs 27:12

“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30)

Relate: Apart from those that were there, those that knew him, nobody knows his name. He is an iconic figure, but an anonymous one. The day was June 5, 1989. I was eleven at the time, but the sight of what he did, the courage that young student had, inspired me. It was at that moment that I, in my childish way, knew something real, something drastic was happening in my world. There was no going back.

Less than two months later, Poland voted in the first ever non-communist government in the Eastern bloc. The country governed from Warsaw was the first to opt out of the Warsaw pact. In October that same year, Hungary formally abolished their government. Before Christmas, revolutions in Czechoslovakia and Romania hurled their dictators from power. On November 9, 1989, the most famous symbol of the conflict between east and west, the Berlin Wall, came down. The next March, East Germany held its first free elections and in October ’90 Germany was reunited. 1990 also saw a series of elections that ousted their Communist government and the nation was shattered into five different countries as one group after another declared independence. Even the USSR was not spared. First Georgia, then all the Baltic states, Ukraine, Belarus, then all the Muslim Asian states broke away from the Giant. Finally, after a failed coup, in December the USSR ceased to exist. Communism had fallen and the cold war had ended. All this began much further to the east. A group of students got together to protest against their communist government in Tienanmen Square in China. The army was sent to break it up and the tanks rolled in. One student took a stand. He stood in the gap between one of the most powerful armies in the world and his fellow helpless students. He won. His courage didn’t just inspire a young boy half a world away watching on the news, it inspired millions living under oppressive regimes and one by one, they stood with him.

React: I am sure, that student, when that young man woke up that morning, he had no idea he would stand up against an army of tanks. Well, perhaps he did, he was, after all part of a movement similar to Occupy Wall Street, and there had already been violence against them the previous two days. But a year before, he never knew. Even as he stood there, he probably had no clue that his image was being recorded for broadcast around the world. He never realized that his nameless courage would inspire people around the world to take a stand. He never knew. He just knew that he had to do the right thing. He would stand, even if he stood alone. Even if it cost him his life, because some things are worth standing for. Some things are bigger than just one life.

When the time comes, and for all of us in small ways it comes every day, will you stand? In Ezekiel God looked for one man who would save a nation. He found none. In China, one man changed a world. What can God do with me if I am willing to stand?

Respond: God, help me to stand. It seems like those times I might stand are such small matters. It seems like it makes no difference, but only You know the butterfly effect my stand might have. Only You know the preparation these small stands might be for in the future. Help me to stand strong in the little things so that You might entrust me with the big. Help me to prove trustworthy and ready for the difference You might make through my life. Help me to stand.

This is a devotional created by and for Two Rivers Assembly.

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