Do you believe in miracles? A little bit of grace goes a long way, because when God gives us His grace, he does not give it in measures, He gives super abounding grace. Desperate times in the life of a sinner call for desperate measures, descending even to the depths of suicide attempts.
Such was the case in the life of Jose Angel. July 20th, at 10:00 a.m., Jose Angel ingested 500 milliliters of weed killer in an attempt to end his life. The doctor told me that 20 milliliters is lethal. Jose`s mother, Consuelo, rushed him to the hospital where the doctors attempted to flush his stomach of the poison, but they were not able to do so because Jose kept pulling the tubes out of his mouth – he wanted to die.
When I arrived at the hospital, I asked Consuelo, who is a member of our church, if she had witnessed to Jose about Jesus. She said that he had never wanted anything to do with God, the Bible or religion. We did not know how much time Jose had to live, and a feeling of desperate urgency came over me to tell Jose about God`s grace, but the doctors would not allow me in the emergency room. Jose was very hostile toward the doctors, so after spending a few hours in the emergency room, they sent him home – nothing more they could do for him, he was too hostile.
As I drove Consuelo and Jose (he looked like death warmed over) home, I reached over, put my hand on Jose`s shoulder and said: ¨I`m so sorry that life has treated you this way. I`m so sorry that you felt the need to attempt suicide.¨ Jose looked at me and said: ¨My life is a mess and I just don’t have anyone I can turn to or confide in¨. I asked him if he would allow me to have a few words about God`s grace with him when we got to his mom`s house, and he agreed.
After we arrived at Consuelo`s house, I began telling Jose about the wonderful and freeing gospel of grace. I told Jose that God loved him as he was and not as he should be because he was never going to be what he should be. I told Jose that Jesus came to seek and save the vilest of sinners, and that he (Jose) was a vile sinner. I told Jose that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. So I asked him if he would like to call on the name of the Lord and here is what he prayed: ¨Jesus, I am such a vile sinner, I believe that you died and rose again, please forgive me and be my Savior.¨
That evening, after I left their house, I called 2 doctor friends of mine and asked them what we could expect to happen to Jose as a result of the poison in his body. They told me that within 10 to 15 days, Jose would begin to lose his mind and that within a few days after that he would suffer a horrific and violent death. I was so terrified; I hardly slept that night as I thought about and prayed for Jose.
The doctors at the hospital did not inform Jose as to what he was going to suffer, so on Tuesday, the 21st, I went and told Jose what the doctors had told me was going to happen to him. It was a sad and tearful time, but I did my best to encourage Jose and his mother in the grace of God.
The days that followed were intense as we prayed, held our breath and waited to see what God was going to do for Jose. Adding to Jose`s troubles was the fact that he and his wife, Juani, had been separated for over a year, so Jose began to put his house in order and I began preparing for his funeral. Each morning I would call Jose and ask how his breathing, heart, stomach and bodily functions were doing. I even went so far as to ask him if he felt like he was losing his mind – he must have thought that I was losing mine for asking such a question. As the 10th day rolled around, we began to relax because Jose`s health was improving, and by the 12th day I had come to grips with the fact that God was doing a miracle in his life so I cancelled all the funeral plans.
On Sunday July 26th, both Jose and his wife Juani were in church and now we are praying that they can reconcile their differences and begin anew in the grace of God. We have seen 2 miracles of grace – the salvation of Jose`s soul, and the healing of his body. Of the 2 miracles, the salvation of his soul is the greatest, and we are rejoicing in the healing of his body. I want to thank all of you who prayed for Jose, God has answered our prayers on his and our behalf.