We have a friend named Arvio* we work with him in one of the development projects. He was a Muslim man who began to see the love of God as expressed in Jesus Christ. It was a joy to hear him pray, reflect on God’s Word, and ask thoughtful questions. Once Arvio’s family discovered the spiritual journey he had embarked upon, they began to pressure him and made him to ease off his spiritual development.
Arvio was torn:
“I can’t do this to my family, especially my mother. For them, it would be painful if I left Islam. But I love the Messiah, how can I not when I read about His goodness and His miracles! How can I not love Him when He puts me in touch with Christians who bless my life?”
The small flame of his spiritual awakening did not go out but has been dampened by the Quran’s account of the Messiah. It recounts His virgin birth, His miracles, His ascension into Heaven and His Second Coming. But His divinity, Him being “God with us,” and his death on the cross, the essence of our faith, have been stripped from the Muslim account.
For some time, Arvio stopped praying and reading the Word. He would remain silent when we brought up something related to my faith in the Lord. Yet, we maintain a beautiful friendship, based on genuine love free of any conditions.
We had patience with him and his journey. We continued to have table fellowship with Arvio over many mint teas with bread, olive oil, and hope for a better world.
The small flame of his faith in the Gospel flickers enough for him to allow our team to share how God’s moving in our lives and our thoughts on the Word.
On one occasion, he looked at one of our team members sadly and said:
“I know that everything you say about the Messiah is true. I have faith in Him. But I cannot understand, believe, and accept that he is God incarnate. God is too holy, too wonderful, also become a lowly human being… and his death on the cross… I can’t understand the reason for it. I’m sorry!”
They responded somberly and said, “ask God to guide him to the Truth.”
Arvio replied, “May He do as you have requested.”
To Simon Peter, son of Jonah, the identity of Christ, the Son of the living God, wasn’t revealed to him by “flesh and blood but by the Spirit of the living God.” Thus, we pray and hope that Our Father in heaven reveals Himself to Arvio, who so needs Him.