On January 11, 2014, my son, Ben, who was four years old at the time, fell from a 25-foot-high deck and landed on a brick patio. I watched my son take what I then thought was his final breath. Ben’s heart stopped beating that day, but he was resuscitated. A machine breathed for him because of a collapsed lung, tubes and wires streamed from his body, he wore a neck and back brace, his face was bruised and swollen beyond recognition, and his skull was webbed with cracks. Ben had suffered a traumatic brain injury; and he did not show any signs of life for three days.
This is the period of time I wrote about in today’s meditation. I have never known a more heart-wrenching, helpless, hopeless-seeming situation. Doctors did not know if Ben would survive. We didn’t know if he would wake again, if he would know his family, if he would ever walk and talk again, or if he had suffered permanent brain damage. Ben had a team of talented medical professionals who worked around the clock doing all they could to assure him the best possible outcome. But, thankfully, we serve a God who defies the boundaries of what modern medicine can accomplish and earthly logic can explain. God is still a God of miracles. Those who know Ben were witness to the miracle of God’s healing hand on him. Ben went into the hospital on January 11th, came home on February 11th, and went back to preschool on March 11th, my birthday. I’ve learned not to limit God with my feeble expectations. I can now boldly take my prayer requests to the throne of God with the absolute certainty that there is nothing beyond God's power to accomplish.
Today, Ben leads a normal, active life as an eight-year-old. He suffered no permanent brain damage. He walks, talks, runs, plays, and fills our lives with joy and wonder. The horrors of my son’s accident will always be with me, but I am so thankful for God's help, provision, and healing. God sustained us through many dark hours and showered us with the love and support of family, friends, church family, and even strangers. Care packages, cards, gifts, prayer blankets, food, money, visits, and, most importantly, PRAYERS, were offered on our behalf from people around the world. We are so appreciative of every kindness shown us. I’m thankful, too, for the gift of God’s Holy Spirit who accompanies all believers in Christ through our earthly lives. The Holy Spirit is our assurance that we’re never alone. The knowledge that God loves us so much and knows and cares for us so intimately gives me peace and courage to face whatever trials might come in the future. I’m thankful to The Upper Room for the opportunity given me to share with others what God did for us. May God’s blessings be upon this ministry, its leaders, contributors, and followers… family in Christ.
I wrote this poem a year after Ben’s accident based on my favorite scripture, used in today’s meditation.
Jesus knows and cares about the sadness that you feel
He’ll carry the burden of your trials; His love for you is real.
He’ll intercede on your behalf when you don’t have words to say,
Take your requests to the Throne of Grace and carry fears away.
He knows your thoughts and feelings, the secret desires of your heart.
And when you’re at your weakest, grace and peace He imparts.
So when this life seems heavy, and its cross too much to bear
Remember that He loves you and that He is already there.
Karen Gower Woodard
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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