Friday, February 17, 2012

The Breath of Jesus

Today, I received a phone call from my good friend Paul, asking if I was available to go and pray with a family in our church.  You see, their 22 year-old son, Joseph, is fighting for his life.  He and his family have been at war with a deadly form of cancer for over two years.  Over 200 tumors are attacking Joseph's body and yet he continues to fight.  I was given the privilege of holding Joseph's hand, kneeling by his bedside, and praying with him as his family prayed along side of us.  Joseph and I have spent time praying together after church on Sunday's.  I never heard Christian platitudes coming out of Joseph.  I heard the Gospel.  I heard him making much about Jesus.  I watched him fight gracefully and with a strength that is only supernatural.  I saw him sitting in the back row on Sunday's when he could have been home resting.  He had every earthly right to withdraw.  Today, I could feel Joseph squeezing my hand as I asked Jesus for comfort and peace that only the Savior can bring.

Today, as I listened to Joseph fight for every breath I realized that I was holding the hand of Jesus.  Before you accuse me of blaspheme listen to Jesus' words, "Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me."  One of his Aunt's greeted us at the door today and said something along the lines of, "Do you want to see the glory of God?"  This indeed, is holy ground.

Joseph's fight reminds me of the battle that Jesus fought and won on our behalf.  He battled with our enemies and he dealt death the death blow.  I imagine that the breath of Joseph must not be unlike the breath of Jesus on the Cross as he battled our enemy and carried the weight of sin and death on his shoulders.  Jesus breathed every breath he was meant to breathe--not one more and not one less.  Jesus did not breathe his last until it was finished.  Praying with Joseph and kneeling by his bedside was a picture of Cross.  God allowed me to see a glimpse of what it means to do battle with the evil effects of this world.

I watched as Joseph's family members and friends prayed and read Scripture around his bed.  His uncle.  His Grandfather.  His Dad.  His Mother.  His Aunt.  His Sister.  They pray, they hold him, they read God's inerrant Word.  Each of their Bible's are worn out.  They have notes in them.  The covers are cracked and worn.  The pages are in disrepair.  As Joseph's uncle read from Isaiah, his mother quoted the Scripture alongside him without needing her Bible.  This was not a picture of religious motion.  This was the very presence of Jesus in Joseph's room.  His aunt was right--even in a room where death could be imminent the glory of God is shining around us.

I am still praying for God to heal Joseph.  His family is still praying for healing.  I hope that you will pray along side of them.  Joseph has pressed on toward the mark.  He has run the race that has been marked out for him.  He has fought a fight that most will never have to fight.  All the while, he has clung to Jesus.  He did not let go and let God. Rather, he has been holding on to Jesus and allowing God to work in and through him.

Today, I walked on holy ground.

1 comment:

  1. In tears I am thankful for this Holy ground as Joseph is empowered by our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

    I am praying for you every day my dearest Joseph. I am praying for your mom, dad, and Jillian.

    Angels are in your room as Jesus is holding your hand.

    All my love and prayers are for you these days.

    Your friend, Sally Jo