Jonah and Parkinson's Disease
Sometimes I am overwhelmed with battle fatigue. Sometimes it seems that for every battle fought and won, there are several new fights to be fought. Sometimes winning consists of nothing more than still being standing when all of the dust settles. And the question that I ask is, “Does it make a difference? Am I wasting my time? Does my life make a difference to those I know and love?”
I am not given to depression, nor do I enjoy feeling sorry for myself (it sucks the life out of me), but at the end of the day, I realize my clothes are in tatters and the smell of the battle sticks to me like smoke from a fire. These days, there doesn't seem to be a place of rest to slip away to from the attackers and invaders that are the enemy's best.
It reminds me of the story of Jonah. This man was running from God and thought to hide in a boat bound for another place. God was giving him a task that he simply could not find the heart to do (like living with PD). So, after he had boarded the boat, and they were on their way, a huge storm came up. It was the worst the crew of the ship had ever encountered. The ship was barely holding together, and being no help at all, Jonah had actually fallen asleep down in the lowest parts of the ship. The crew had thrown all of their cargo overboard to lighten their load. This storm had cost them all that they had, and it was still raging. Everything they tried only made things worse.
It struck me at this point in the story that here I am, and here you are fighting a storm that God has allowed in our lives.... For many of us, it is Hurricane Parkinson. We don't want to fight this typhoon and as silly as it is – we are running from it. And we are trying to outrun God by staying ahead of Him. If it were up to us, there would be no storm, and no loss of cargo. But He is as big as the whole sea and impervious to our best efforts of choosing our own path.
When the crew found out that Jonah was a Hebrew, they were terrified, knowing that he worshiped and belonged to the One True God. So they asked him what they must do to quiet the storm and save their lives. He told them that they must throw him overboard – out into the storm. “So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea and the sea ceased from its raging.” (Jonah 1:15)
In the same way, mankind had been trying to hide from God since the Garden of Eden because of his sin. The predicament we find ourselves in is that we are caught in the storm of sin with only one way of making it through alive: We had to throw Jesus like Jonah out into the raging sea, (upon the cross) and only then would the sea become calm. Only His life thrown into Hell's storm of man's sin – to pay for the sins of the world – would calm this tempest.
“Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. - (death held Jesus three days and three nights). Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish's belly. And he said: I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction and He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried. And You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep. Into the heart of the seas. And the floods surrounded me. All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, 'I have been cast out of Your sight; yes, I will look again toward Your holy temple. The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me. Weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed around me forever. Yet you have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. When my strength fainted within me, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple. Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving. I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”
We live in a sin cursed world at the present time, and we fight battles. But we live by faith, believing that it has all been straightened out – that Messiah has come and fulfilled His purpose (salvation has come through Him), and though we do not see it now, all things will be made perfect, and the corruptible will be done away with and the incorruptable will established.
One of the present day battles we fight is disease. We will live through this disease by faith, knowing for sure that one day (very soon I think) healing comes. Perfection will rule and all things will be subject to He who paid the price and cancelled sin's effect.
Don't fall asleep, like Jonah did on the boat. Look up for your redemption draweth nigh!
And know that Jesus has already calmed the sea and defeated death. We will SEE this on the appointed day! There will be no more disease. We will not just know that this good day is coming, but we will see it.