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The Jonas Story

28 April, 2010

Jonas was a good story-teller.  Whether or not he ever told, or heard, the story about his namesake, I will never know.  But I do know that if he did, he told it with passion.  He told it as if it happened to him.  As if he was the Jonas in the story.

Right now Jonas is lying in a small hospital bed, but the hospital has asked his family to leave.  He is skin is sunk into his bones, which are sunk into the foam mattress, which is sunk into the springs holding it up.  There’s a cancer sunk into his body, and its not coming out at the hands of men.

What does this mean?  How did this happen?  Why this man?  Why this wife, this mother?  Why these children, this baby?

Why doesn’t his faith save him?  Why don’t these prayers work?  Why does nothing ever happen? Why does my faith not move mountains like He said it would?

These are all the questions of me, and I am only a friend.  I can only imagine what kind of questions he is asking in his near-death mind.

“O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!”  Why does that verse sound so miserable to me right now, when it usually is so joyous?

It must be a matter of perspective.

Watching a friend die is not easy.  Being the only “minister” that he knows personally makes it a little harder.  Knowing this is the man that I have been praying for God to use as a missionary in this area makes it even harder to comprehend.

But that’s the thing about God.  What seems unfathomable right now will seem like a perfect plan that works out for good, if I could just step out of time and look a little ways down the time-space continuum.  My faith must not be in what my plans were for this man.  Even if my plans are good, “His ways are not [my] ways, and His thoughts are not [my] thoughts.”

Right now, Papa Jonas has one hope: the creator God.  The God that gives and takes away.  He has one faith: that his God will save him.  Salvation may not necessarily be physical health.  For all we can see, he won’t be physically alive a few days from now.  But for all he can see, he won’t be spiritually dead a few days from now.  Even if the blood that he has now is bad, he knows the blood of Jesus Christ is the only blood that matters in the end.  If the life of the body is in the blood, he’s got very little life left.  But at the moment he stands before the Holy God, his faith will be made sight. His blood of death will be replaced by the blood of Jesus, shed for his sins, that he may have life, and have it more abundantly.

So what does that mean for me?  What does that mean for Lisi, his wife, or Jonas Jr., his 5 month old baby?

It means that God has a plan for Jonas.  It means that only God can heal physically now, and only God can save spiritually.  If God wills, he can heal (as he did the man with leprosy in Luke 5) Papa Jonas’ body.  If God wills, he can save (and he has promised to do so, with a hope that will not disappoint) Papa Jonas’ spirit, because of his faith in Christ alone.

Who am I to think that God can only work powerfully, to spread his gospel, through the life of a saint?  Can he not certainly do so in the death of a saint?

For now, I pray for the healing of Jonas’ body.  I pray that he would be spit out of the mouth of affliction.

But my faith is in more than that.  My faith is in God to save this man.  Through the life of faith that he lives, and may leave behind, I pray that this nation will be changed.  The gospel of Jesus Christ will spread, through the life of Jonas.  I have faith in that.  That faith will move mountains.

Sango Malamu ezali nguya ya Nzambe po na kobikisa bato nyonso oyo bandimeli Yezu Kristo.  “The good news is the power of God to heal every person that believes in Jesus Christ”  Ba-Romén 1.16

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One Comment leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    29 April, 2010 03:21

    praying for you, Papa Jonas and his family.

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