Christian Living

Spiritual Life

When God Is Deaf

Chris wanted to celebrate his 12th birthday at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. He was up early and ready, excited about the great birthday he was going to have. Before they left home, his father, a pastor, gathered the family together and prayed for a good time and for safety.

The trip to Busch Gardens seemed endless but finally they approached the park. Chris jumped out of the car as soon as his dad finished parking. They walked to the toll gate to buy their tickets and Chris could see and hear the screams and laughter coming from the rides. There it was-his favorite ride, the double merry-go-round and that's what they would ride first.

Chris ran to the merry-go-round, rushed up to the second level and climbed on top of the great white stallion. Twelve-year-old Chris was not on that horse. Instead he was a western rodeo rider showing off before a cheering crowd as he went up and down and round and round.

The ride ended much too soon and as Chris was sliding off his "great white stallion," his foot slipped, catching his right leg on the metal stirrup. He fell off the horse, and the stirrup tore his pants and cut his leg.

He felt the excruciating pain as he was rushed to the nearby emergency clinic, surrounded by his family. When Chris saw all the blood and torn flesh, he lost consciousness. The medics informed his parents that he had ripped his leg open enough to require 73 stitches.

Chris was upset, almost hysterical. He was one of the better swimmers on his school's swim team, and the doctor told him it would be at least six weeks before he could even consider competing again. In his anger and frustration he yelled at his dad, "You prayed we'd have a good time and no one would get hurt. Well, I got hurt and we didn't have a good time."

Two weeks later, Chris developed a severe ear ache. After the otolaryngologist examined his right ear, he said, "Chris, it's a good thing you aren't swimming now."

"Why, doc. Can't you fix it?"

"Well, Chris, your ear is infected and . . ."

Chris interrupted him. "It's not something really bad, is it?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so. If you hadn't had this leg injury and you had continued swimming, the ear drum would have burst, and you'd be permanently deaf in that ear."

Chris started to tremble and then began to sob. The news was worse than he thought. He'd hoped it was just a simple ear ache and when his leg healed, he'd be back in the pool swimming. His mother drew him close and they both cried together.

When they arrived home, Chris, the first to get out, struggled to stand up, and leaned across the top of the car. When his dad got out, Chris quietly said, "Dad, God seems to be deaf; but as you often say, 'the Lord promises, Call me and I'll answer, and be at your side in the bad times. I'll rescue you.'" Psalm 91:15, The Message

Then he hobbled on his injured leg around the car and grabbed his dad in a huge hug, his head buried in his father's chest, sobbing, "I'm so sorry, so sorry."

They walked toward the house buried in thought, arms still around each other. His mom, silently thanking God for her family; his father, meditating on "God does what he said he would do!" Psalm 48:11, The Message, and Chris, knowing he had the best dad, had a renewed trust in his father's prayers.

An ambulance siren could be heard in the distance. Chris paused as he remembered the sound and once again thanked God for protecting him.

Copyright © 2015 by Dr. D. Leon Pippin. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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