When I was a young Catholic of grade-school age, I listened to the Bible stories week after week, year after year: David and Goliath, Daniel in the lion’s den, Moses and the crossing of the Red Sea, Caleb and Joshua spying out the promised land, Elijah and the contest at Mt. Carmel, the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, Joseph betrayed by his brothers and on and on.
I was taught as a child that these were just stories meant to illustrate a principle. And I accepted that. After all, what reason did I have to think otherwise?
I mean, oceans don’t part, allowing people fleeing an army a way of escape, a stone in a slingshot could never kill a mighty man of great stature and strength, and if a person is thrown into a hungry lion’s den, the only result will be that they become the lion’s next meal.
Everyone knows if Elijah had really soaked an altar in water then called on Almighty God to rain down fire from heaven and burn up the altar to prove He is the one true God, he’d be calling on God until they locked him up for lunacy because God does not do things to prove Himself to man. And who could really believe those three Hebrew boys were thrown into the burning furnace and not only came out alive but came out without even the smell of smoke on them?
No, these stories, great as they are, had to mean something else. That was the doctrine I was raised on. And then freshman year of high school, Jesus changed all that, setting 16 years of doctrine and my identification with the Catholic church on its ear. Jesus was suddenly real and He knew me, knew my name, knew my life! And the Bible, the Word of God, was really true. Those stories I thought were just stories to illustrate a principle, they were real events that happened to people just as real as you and I!
As time went on, I realized I needed to believe those Bible stories were real. I was older now; I had my own giants to slay, enemies to escape, family betrayals to survive, oceans to cross. When I was a child, not so much.
All I have suffered and overcome, all that was lost and then found again, all the beauty that has been restored to me out of the ashes of a painful, pointless life, is because of Jesus. Those things that went before enable me to write this blog and to believe that the God who accomplished the impossible for me will do it for Dzhokhar as well.
How else can you explain a middle-aged woman still writing with passion and compassion, five years after the fact, to clear the name of a young man she has never met, a young man many still like to maintain has a different faith in a different God…
The knowledge that all those Bible stories are true is what makes it so easy for me to believe Dzhokhar will be exonerated and set free one day, to believe Isaiah 51:14 “The captive will soon be freed, he will not die in the dungeon, and his bread will not be lacking.”
The God who used a young boy and a slingshot to kill a much mightier opponent even grown men were afraid to fight will save Dzhokhar. The God who preserved Joseph in prison, Daniel in the lion’s den and the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace will save Dzhokhar. The God who opened the Red Sea so the Israelites crossed over on dry land and escaped the Egyptian army pursuing them will save Dzhokhar. The God who gave courage to Joshua and Caleb so no enemy could stand before them all the days of their lives will save Dzhokhar. The God who proved to mankind that He, not Baal, is the one, true, almighty God by burning up a water-soaked altar with fire from heaven in a contest at Mt. Carmel will prove Himself once again, freeing Dzhokhar from the powerful enemy keeping him in prison – mark my words.
Better yet, mark His:
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away.” Matthew 24:35
“For I am watching over My Word to fulfill it.” Jeremiah 1:12
Amen, Lord. Free Dzhokhar. And after You do, maybe I will rewrite the article about him for Wikipedia!