The saga of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15 never fails to stir me. The faithfulness of the love of the father is overwhelming, such being a timeless, unconditional, unquestioning, unrequited, unyielding love. It reminds me of those instances when all of us, as Christians, run away from His arms rather than into them. Hurt and confused, there are times when we flee from the only one who can give us the security and comfort we so desperately seek. In Jeremiah 2, God pleads with His chosen people through the prophet. Once faithful and devoted, they have strayed far away from His embrace.
“I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal , when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown...” – Jer 2 v 2
To think that the almighty God would stoop to plead with a disobedient people, is mind-boggling. This is, however, the character of God. He guards His children jealously, and will humble Himself to beg if necessary. Such is love, the kind that suffers long, that does not seek its own, that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, a love that never fails (1 Cor 13 v 4 – 8). The testimony below is that of a young man who, although saved, was tottering on the edges of the darkness of his past. With extravagant mercy, God pulled him back. I trust you are inspired.
A MIRACLE FOR MANDLA
“God can do everything,” the young man exclaims. “He can do the things a human cannot do!” Mandla is 26 years old and lives in the Temba region of Hammanskraal, South Africa. His open face and friendly smile give no hint of either his violent history or uncertain future. Tonight, he knows only one thing – His God forsakes not those He calls His own!
Mandla continues, “When I came to the crusade tonight, I had a terrible pain in my liver. In February of this year I was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with Hepatitis B. They told me I was going to die soon. When I was prayed for, the pain disappeared. I thank God with all my heart, I am healed!”
Mandla is a young man with a tumultuous past. Having been raised in a Christian home by his grandmother, a rowdy nature and wild friends quickly transformed him from an innocent child into a drug-addicted, crime-perpetuating teenager. By the tender age of seventeen, Mandla had been sentenced to eight years in prison. The exact crimes that he was finally caught and incarcerated for, he is hesitant to mention. It was in prison that he came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, experiencing the tangible presence of God for the first time. It was only on his release that His relationship with Jesus threatened to unravel. The temptation to slip back into his old ways was ever present, the unsavoury influences of old acquaintances exerting a constant pressure. Being diagnosed with Hepatitis, lurched Mandla quickly towards breaking point.
It was news of the upcoming In His Name crusade that brought a glimmer of hope. “I believed with all of my heart that if I went to the crusade, God would heal me,” explained Mandla. Desperate for an encounter with his Jesus, Mandla went forward for prayer, the pain in his liver a constant reminder of his condition. God touched him. Mandla crumpled to the ground, the presence of the Holy Spirit heavy and overwhelming. When he could finally stagger to his feet, the pain was gone. “I thank God for all that he has done for me tonight,” Mandla says, bubbling with joy. “I feel revived in my spirit, I want to be an instrument in the hands of God!” Amen Mandla, we indeed serve a Jesus who never forsakes those who have surrendered to Him. We praise Him for His faithfulness, We glorify Him for His limitless love!
Tamryn is the founder of In His Name Ministries, an evangelistic organisation dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Africa and the world. Find her on Facebook under Tamryn Klintworth or visit the ministry website at: