"Where is the God of Elijah?" Even before our Amen, we heard a few drops on the tiles. There was a steady shower as we ate our rice and were served with a second bowl. "Let us give thanks again," I said, and now we asked God for heavier rain. As we began on that second bowl of rice, the rain was coming down in buckets-full. By the time we had finished, the street outside was already deep in water and the three steps at the door of house were covered.
Soon we heard what had happened in the village. Already, at the first drop of rain, a few of the younger generation had begun to say openly: "There is God there is no more Ta-wang! He is kept in by the rain!" But he wasn't. They carried him out on a sedan chair. Surely he would stop the shower! Then came the downpour. After only some 10 or 12 yards, three of the coolies stumbled and fell. Down went the chair and Ta-wang with it, fracturing his jaw and his left arm. Still determined, they carried out emergency repairs and put him back in the chair. Somehow, slipping and stumbling, they dragged or carried him half-way around the village. Then the floods defeated them. Some of the village elders, old men of 60 to 80 years, bareheaded and without umbrellas as their faith in Ta-wang's weather required, had fallen and were in serious difficulties. The procession was stopped and the idol was taken into the house. Divination was made. "Today was the wrong day," came the answer. "The festival is to be on the 14th with the procession at six in the evening."
Immediately when we heard this, there came the assurance in our hearts: "God will send rain on the 14th." We went to prayer: "Lord, send rain on the 14th at 6.00 pm and give us four good days until then." That afternoon the sky cleared, and now we had a good hearing for the Gospel. The Lord gave us over thirty converts -- real ones -- in the village and in the island during those three short days. The 14th broke, another perfect day, and we had good meetings. As the evening approached we met, and again, at the appointed hour, we quietly brought the matter to the Lord's remembrance. Not a minute later, His answer came with torrential rains and floods as before.
The next day, our time was up and we had to leave. For us, the essential point was that satan's power in that idol had been broken, and that is an eternal thing. Ta-wang was no more "an effective god." The salvation of souls would follow, but was in itself secondary to this vital and unchanging fact.
The impression on us was a lasting one. God had committed Himself. We had tasted the authority of the name that is above every name -- the name that has power in heaven and earth and hell. In those few days we had known what it is to be, as we say, "in the center of God's will."
This is an excerpt from the book, SIT, WALK, STAND by Watchman Nee. For the first part of this story, click here.
BE A MAN.