After Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan, he ordered them to take 12 stones from the river bed and set them up as memorials: markers of remembrance, so future generations might know of God’s miraculous intervention in their lives.

I had good reason recently to contemplate some of the stones of remembrance in my own life. It was 20 years ago last month that God intervened and drew me to himself: During the darkest days of Watergate, I heard the gospel for the first time and asked Jesus Christ into my life.

So, during last month’s study break, I stared out at the ocean I love and reflected on some memorials of what God has done and lessons I’ve learned.

The first lesson is the paradox of worldly power and the sovereignty of God.

Last year Prison Fellowship workers from 80 nations convened in South Korea. I waited on the conference center steps to welcome a busload of attenders arriving from the airport. First off was a Romanian who grinned wide, ran, and hugged me. He had read my books in prison, he said, and they had changed his life. Next came two beloved brothers from Hungary; then Father Jan Sikorski, Chaplain General of the Polish prisons. More grins and hugs. Behind him were several Russians, including some former Soviet leaders. They told me how they had come to Christ in the last two years, then repeated in broken English, “We love you, we love you, brother.”

Incredible. I had spent most of my preconversion life fighting the Cold War: as a Marine officer training for combat against communists in Korea; as an assistant in the U.S. Senate in the late 1950s when the missile race began; and during four years of White House briefings on all the grave issues of the nuclear stand-off.

For decades, those powers kept the ...

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