Thoughts from Prison (Part 1)

Oct. 23 – Day Two

Over the last two days I have been cursed with the curse that has tortured many men and women over the world’s history–unjust suffering.

Believers meeting in a destroyed church in Iraq
Believers meeting in a destroyed church in Iraq

Today as frustration springs from my bones, I can vaguely understand the plight of John Bunyan, of Martin Luther King Jr., of Brother Yun, etc. Even today as I write, how many men grab at the metal bars before them and plead with God for justice? In China, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Cuba, Venezuela, and many other places (www.persecution.com), saints have been thrown in jail–but their heart swears to their innocence.

As I said, I can barely understand, but through the experience I now face, I can see I am a terrible prisoner. If the current situation I am in would continue even two more days I would go mad and walk out the door before long and bypass the rules. Interesting that I have now been here 5 days and counting. I write this three days later and I still have little idea of when I will be set free.

Perhaps that is the problem, I have the freedom to leave, yet directions not to. You see, I was told I might have the Swine Flu. Yesterday I awoke with a throbbing headache and I had a temperature of 103.7. The dean of the school was informed and I willingly headed down to a forsaken set of dormitories in my campus and set-up shop.

I came down to where I am now willfully, because I could not explain my fever. All the other symptoms I could explain away–I have had them all before, they make up the common sinus cold I often get.

But then it dawned on me–I always get a fever when I have a sinus cold! So by logical deduction I proved I did not have the Swine Flu or any kind of contagious flu. Unfortunately the nurse didn’t completely buy it, although I was close. I hadn’t put all the pieces together yet–so I couldn’t blame her. I was content to stay the night.

Yet today, when I thought I would get out, my fever again broke 100 degrees. I couldn’t take it and my frustration boiled-over. “I’m not contagious–let me out!” I cry out, but no one is around to listen and the nurse is away.

So what is a man to do: his case is innocent, he is right, yet he cannot be acquitted. I find similarities of this in the story of Job. Truly he had terrible friends, they said: “Just admit you are wrong and everything will revert to normal!” But Job pleaded innocence and he would’ve been in the wrong to say otherwise. God would have to show him his wrong if there was one. Yet where was Job to turn for now? Where was God, the Judge, to hear his case? There was no change in view, and his situation was dire and hopeless.

Freedom

As my friend joked with me in light of this: “Chris, just admit you are sick and everything will work out…” But we are both confirmed in the matter–I am not sick with the flu and it would be foolish to lie about it. Little did I know!

So here I sit, wide awake and with a throbbing headache–for I am not to take medication. And my muscles are burning to do something–I don’t want to watch another boring movie or read another stinking word–I want to play basketball!

To put it simply.

What a strange, yet enlightening experience. And like in all things, I must ask: “What is God wishing to teach me in all of this?” For all things work together for good. If I have only learned one thing–aside from the fact that I cannot stand solitary confinement–I have gained an appreciation for the suffering saints worldwide who daily suffer in innocence for a glorious case, a glorious gospel. In their hearts they carry the keys to free all of humanity from its brokenness, they have the good news that would transform the hearts of the people of the world!

Bloodshed in Jerusalem because of Christianity. Sound familiar?
Bloodshed in Jerusalem because of Christianity. Sound familiar?

I hope I may one day as well gain their patience and faith–to give up my freedom and literally chain myself to my Savior’s cross.

Pray a prayer today for those Christians suffering for their faith worldwide. Ask God to open your eyes as well as he has mine!

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts from Prison (Part 1)

Add yours

  1. this past week I was missing our comfortable house and good food on a ministry trip with 17 students. We were also learning 2 Timothy 2 and I was ashamed of my feelings of discomfort. “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus…”

  2. It really is hard to endure things with a positive answer. I sometimes wonder why God uses difficulties in our lives, but I am afraid that in my own life I would never listen to him unless he did work through difficulty.

  3. Well, as you wrote in “The porpuse of pain” when suffering we need to CONSIDER. I think you have.

    When I was at EBC I was secluded because I had spent Xmas break with a person who had hepatitis. I was “freed” until the results came back negative!!

    Last night I was talking to Pablito Randall about the differences in culture, specifically when it comes to sickness. There are excellent precautions in some countries, but on the other hand, they can go to the extreme…annoying extreme. The thing is that you have experienced another way of treatment here in Bolivia, but you’re not here, so act as a Roman while in Rome! :-)

    After all, this experience gave you something to write about!

  4. People are going “gaga” over the Swine Flu, and definitely over-reacting. I have head some doctors that have stated it would be better if we all got Swine Flu now, since the symptoms are so mild, and it would prevent this virus from attacking us in a worse way later (say if it mutated with Hepatitis A or something).

    Is Pablo there now? It sure would be great to see him again! If he is, give him my “saludos”, ok? My parents were here over the weekend and it was nice to see them and be able to spend time with them again. They told me Pablo was going to be in Bolivia sometime soon.

    Enjoy the weather–even though it may be blistering, it’s getting colder by the day up here!

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