Rustwater is a small town in desperate need of rain for their crops - simple, real (and sadly gullible) folk - prime pickings for the fake 'new kid in town'. On one hand the local sheriff is not fooled that easily and goes all out to try and prevent the people from being conned, and on the other hand is a cripple boy (Boyd) who needs a true miracle - one that Jonas can't offer. He had been for prayer before but the ministers told him he was not healed because he didn't have enough faith. He's been building his faith ever since and Jonas is about to meet his Match.
On the last night Jonas is busy "feeling another healing coming on" when he is confronted with Boyd wanting prayer and suddenly Jonas just doesn't have any "healing power left in him". Boyd is not concerned with Jonas though. His eyes are fixed on the statue of Jesus hoisted as a backdrop on the stage and he believes that if he can touch it - as a means of touching Jesus - he can be healed. It made me think of the woman that suffered with the issue of blood and believed that if she could only touch Jesus' hem she would be healed - and she was.
Jonas didn't quite expect a real miracle but the boy's faith was not in Jonas anyway. In the process Jonas' life is changed and so also a whole town by God's response to the faith of one cripple boy for a healing miracle. And then it rained!
This movie highlighted two main issues for me:
- God can use whatever He wants to accomplish His purpose - even a fraudulent conman. The sheriff tried everything in his might to shut him down but he did not succeed. Fake or not, it sparked hope and faith in Boyd's heart that just maybe God could do it for him too. The boy was looking to God, not man, and God proved faithful. It reminded me of how God is able to work all things together for good. I don't believe the bad is from Him. There is only light in Him, but He is not so weak that the things of this world throw Him off balance and into a frantic panic, rendering Him as powerless as we are. Not the God of the universe, the God of the impossible - no siree!
In Biblical times God often needed to set the Israelites straight when they wandered away from Him. He did it by letting their enemies triumph over them in battle so they would turn to God in their need and be reconciled to Him. God prospered their enemies to do this. It might seem unfair that God was siding with the enemy but they were merely chess pieces to accomplish His purpose. God didn't make Israel's enemies evil, nor did He bless them for being evil. They were already evil all by themselves. God just used it for His purpose, and once it was accomplished, He - in turn - dealt with them for their wickedness. In the same way God still uses things in the world today to accomplish His purposes: someone buying someone a meal, a shoe lace that breaks and saving someone's life from the 9/11 disaster, an anonymous letter in a mailbox, a campaign saving a girl from human trafficking, or a home for a baby whose parents had died of AIDS, etc. What the enemy intends for harm God can use for good!
- These false people pretending to be Christians sure hit the nail on the head. I heard a lot of the right words ('Christianese') - lingo - I saw a lot of the right gestures, the right songs, the right clothing, the right rituals, etc. and thought to myself how easily you can be fooled by the fake if you don't know what the real deal looks like. The Bible speaks of false teachers who will claim their half truths as the Truth. That is a big problem nowadadays; a half a truth sounds like it could very well be the real thing but it only contains enough truth to lead you astray - bait on a hook. It reminded me how important it is to learn as much as I can about the real deal so I would be able to spot the fake, the 'wanna be', and that I will not be swayed by the lies.
We live in a world where people are not as uneducated as they used to be. The crooks who are harder to catch make sure they stay up to date with the developments in their field so they can continue to be succesful crooks. In the same way the devil - the father of lies - is not fast asleep in his mission to steal, kill and destroy as many lives as he can. For sure there is a spiritual battle going on every moment of every day. It might look Christian, smell Christian, sound Christian, etc. but does it align with God's Word - the Bible? God never contradicts Himself. Proverbs urges us to question and measure to the Truth of God's Word. Don't believe everything you see and hear. Be spiritually vigilant; watch and pray.
Above all - do not fear - God remains in control and His eye is on you! Just reach out to Him - He is everywhere!