Unwavering Faith

by Willy Villalpando

Maranatha Community Church, Colton, CA


A little less than a year ago, I received a notification on Facebook that I had been added to a secret group. The notification read, “You have been added to the secret group ‘I have a Tumor in my Chest’.” I would have never anticipated entering my Facebook feed. I went to the group page to be met by a post by José (obviously the name has been changed for confidentiality). The post read something like, “I have a tumor in my chest and this was the easiest way to tell you all. I plan to do something within the next month; and odds are, I will die. I’ve known a couple months, but I’ve used that time to try and comprehend it. I was planning to just let myself go, but my resolve has strengthened. Do what you will with this information, but don’t tell my family. I need to do that. Thank you for being in my life.”

A week later, José posted that he would be having surgery in an attempt to remove the tumor. Praise God, he had the surgery a week or so after that and everything went well. The tumor was removed and he was going to have radiation therapy in order to remove the last part of it! We even had a party to celebrate! Everything seemed like it was all going so much better! All of our prayers had been answered and our friend was going to be okay.

Mid-July I received another notification from the secret group. I went to the group page and written there was one simple sentence: “They checked on my chest again and found that the tumor is still growing.” Our hopes had been crushed. What we thought had been healed and had moved past had returned. However, about a month and a half later, another post went up letting us all know that it looked like he might be in partial remission! Again, praises were screamed to God that our friend once again was going to be okay and he would be healed!

A few weeks ago, another notification came to my Facebook and I am all ready to read about how well he was doing, and how the tumor was completely gone. The post read along the lines of: “Things don’t look good. The doctors don’t have anything positive to say, They don’t think I’ll make it past July.” Reading that hit me like a rock, I had no idea how to respond. I couldn’t understand how this could be happening to him. José was such an amazing person. He had worked so hard to get to the place that he was in his life. He was someone I looked at and aspired to work even half as hard as he had. I was so angry — José didn’t deserve this and why was God letting this happen to him again? It wasn’t fair! I was so upset at the idea that God was going to just let someone who had worked so hard to get where he was die so young — to make all that hard work mean nothing.

The second half of José’s post said this: “I have faith in God, however. I know I’ll get through this. And even if I don’t, it’s part of God’s plan. We all have a purpose. I feel okay, so I know I have more time. Anyway, I just wanted you all to know. I’ll be okay.” How could this be? How could José have so much faith in God? I am only an outsider in José’s health and I was getting so upset. Yet he was LIVING it and he still had the faith that he was going to be okay. I was in awe. It’s that faith that I need to aspire after. Not how hard working he is or how far he has come in his life, but rather that amazing unwavering faith that he has in God. We all need to strive and have that kind of faith. I pray every day now for José’s health and I ask that you do as well. As José said, God has a plan and in the end God’s plan will win out; we are all put on this earth for a purpose, and when we’ve fulfilled that purpose God calls us home to live with Him. Even if he doesn’t realize it, I know that part of

José’s purpose was to teach me that unwavering faith. I will continue to strive to have that same amazing faith.

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