Sunday, October 7, 2007

Our Gift

When our son Brad (now 20) was 13 he was hit by a car while riding his bike to the baseball field here in town. Steve and I happened to be at the field watching our second son, Sam, play in a little league game. I actually saw Brad’s shoes fly up in the air from a distance but didn’t know what they were at the time.

Brad (and family) spent the next 6 weeks at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera…3 days in a coma and the rest re-learning everything from how to walk and talk to holding a spoon. We were surrounded by friends, family, and an entire town.

Jr. High kids were going to school every day wearing stickers that said, ‘Hi my name is _____and I am praying for Brad’. Our church lifted us up in prayer and we got emails from as far away as Japan telling us of churches praying for our little guy.

Our family was never closer to each other or to God, and the concept of a Peace that passes understanding became a tangible entity that we lived with every day. When people would marvel at 'how well we were doing’ we shook our heads and said it wasn’t us….how could it be? I’m a basket case when I’m late for an appt. or stuck in traffic….how could we, in our weakness, deal with the possibility of losing a child?
We couldn’t and we didn’t. Only thru God’s strength did we get up each day and refuse to crumble.

7 years later and our beautiful young man, tho deaf in one ear, lives a fairly normal life. There are scars, physical and physiological, brain injuries are rarely without residual effects. Brad struggles with his temper, although not nearly as much as he did 5 years ago. He tends to say whatever pops into his head, without first sifting it thru the ‘appropriateness’ filter. But he is a dedicated Christian, reads his Bible daily, helps with youth group at Church and has an ethical standard far above the norm. He is truly, ‘Black and White in a Gray World’…sometimes to a fault.

Do I credit his survival and recovery to prayer? Would it surprise you if I was to say No? I watched a young baby die in the room next to ours, the child of a wonderfully sweet Christian couple whose church and family were also praying for their lovely daughter. Did they not pray hard enough? Was there faith not as strong? Did God not care?

I’m not going to argue theology, and I’m not saying prayer isn’t effective….but maybe it’s less about results than it is about communication. When a teenager who has never so much as stepped foot in a church decides to talk to God about a friend of his, the miracle is in the conversation, not whether the prayer is answered or not. I felt surrounded by prayer, lifted up by prayer, and at peace because of prayer….but I never doubted that Brad could die, that God just might choose to take him Home. And HE would still be God…He would still love me…He would still expect me to love HIM.

Prayer brings us closer to God because we have a relationship with Him and need to talk to Him NOT because we are grateful for something He has done for us…. We are SO thankful that God chose to let us keep Brad here for awhile longer and I definitely think there was a reason for him being spared.
My prayer is that Brad’s life will ‘earn’ that honor.

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Isaiah 40:31


Tesa said...

He truly is a gift!!! So glad things turned out as God intended and he is still with you!

I think some people get confused when it comes to prayer, specially non-believers....they think if a prayer is not answered than God can't be real or He doesn't care. They don't get that this is God's world, God's plans and He will play everything out just as he intended, afterall our lives are already written!

When I pray I pray for God's will, not what I want, I always tell God what I want of course hehe but will ask that His will be in my life and for me to be on his path, not mine own :)

God Bless you and your family Meg, this is called for a prayer with thanksgiving :)

Maureen said...

Thanks for the words of wisdom Tesa.

I think it's just so hard to accept that we don't always know what's best. We think God hasn't heard us or doesn't love us when it's simply a matter of His saying of my favorite songs is 'thank God for unanswered prayers'.

As our pastor once said, whenever he would get into a pity party and start asking GOd "why me?"...the answer would always be..."why not?"