I answered the phone and my friend told me the SUV her children and my son were in was demolished and upside down. She didn’t know the status on anyone. I had to wait for about an hour for them to get to the crash site to find out if my son was dead or alive.
He had flown to AZ to visit good friends of the family, who had moved out there to go to a missionary school. Their sons, with whom my son grew up, had also moved out there. They were on the way to take him to see the Grand Canyon. His friend, his friend’s pregnant wife, their three small children and his friend’s sister were in the Yukon. It began to rain, then sleet, and the road became slippery. The girl who was driving lost control and hit the medium going the speed limit at 75 mi. per hour. The vehicle flipped six times. My son, Isaac, was sleeping in the cargo area. He was ejected from the back.
I later found out Isaac had a broken vertebra in his back, a broken collar bone, and six broken ribs. The girl driving had broken some bones in her neck and finger. The rest made it out with just scratches and bruises. I called my pastor for prayer and then began to call others.
As I was sitting in my chair that night praying and meditating on everything, many thoughts came to mind. One was that I told our 25-year-old son that he was our only child so don’t take any chances at the Canyon. I had heard of people taking selfies and falling over the edge. We also prayed protection over him before
I was tempted to ask the “why” question, but I knew better. The “why” question over something like that never gets answered. Of course, I knew the devil had tried to kill them—that was obvious. My son and the girl driving were the two most spiritual people in the vehicle, and they were the only two who got serious injuries. The girl driving had just gotten out of missionary school.
A comforting thought came to me while I was praying—his skeletal system had done its job. It protected everything it was supposed to. Although he had a broken bone in his back, the spinal cord was not damaged. Although he had a broken collar bone, his lungs and heart were protected. Although he had six broken ribs, no internal organs were hurt. I wondered what may have happened if we had not prayed for his protection before he left. I was very thankful to not only have my only child still alive but with only broken bones that would heal in time.
The first night in the hospital they operated on his back. The second day they operated on his collar bone. By the third day he was not taking anything for pain. On the fourth day both him and the girl walked out of the hospital. Such a speedy recovery can only be attributed to all the prayers for them—especially since he had no pain. They gave him a bottle of pain pills when he left, and he hasn’t taken any. He only had tightness in his back if he sat too long and some pain the first couple of weeks breathing into the machine because of the broken ribs.
He went for a follow-up appointment with the orthopedic doctor in VA three weeks later. They took x-rays of his ribs and the doctor did not believe they were ever broken. However, we talked with the ER doctor the night of the accident, and she told us he went through a CT scan and that he had six broken ribs. They had him breathing into a machine because of it. Apparently God supernaturally healed his ribs within three weeks—bones normally take at least six weeks to heal.
Also we were originally told recovery from the back surgery would take 6 months to a year. Now doctors are saying 3 months, and all doctors and nurses express surprise that he is not experiencing enough pain to take pain meds. And now at least 95% mobility is expected. He is certainly recovering quicker and better than the normal recovery.
My son and the girl had a great attitude about it from the beginning. The girl is a singer. She was unconscious; but when she came to at the ER, she began to sing praises to God. Isaac overheard the ER doctor and a nurse talking saying something like, “I have never seen a group so positive.” And the nurse answered, “Yeah, and this is the worse day of their lives!” The ER doctor later called us and praised Isaac for being so nice and polite. His attitude was that God was going to bring good out of it as the Scriptures say.
As I said, there is no question in my mind that the devil was behind this accident; and he tried to kill everyone in the SUV. All the adults were Christians. However, I am equally convinced that God allowed it to happen. Since I study the Bible a lot, many theological questions came to mind. I don’t believe the devil can just bring evil against Christians without God allowing it in His wisdom. As Graham Cooke says, “God allowed in His wisdom what He could have prevented by His power.” We may never know the answer to the “why” questions concerning things like that. However, we can know that God will bring good out of it for those who love Him.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28 NKJV).
We can already see some good that has come out of it. In fact, my son has made up a list of about 10 good things so far. One of the good things I see that has come out of it is that Isaac always had bad posture, and I used to get on him constantly about it. As he got older, he would get angry with me if I mentioned it; so I just stopped. Now he is wearing a back brace to help keep his back straight while it heals. One of the first things he said to me after the operation is, “Now I have to keep my back straight.” The doctor expected him to regain at least 90% mobility in his back. I wonder how much he would have lost had he continued with the bad posture.
I find it interesting how often God personally takes credit for evil in spite of some who seem to be embarrassed by such Scriptures. Although He does not personally do the evil, He nevertheless often takes credit for it such as in the following verses:
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things (Isaiah 45:7 KJV).
He does not shy away from the fact that He created darkness and evil. The Hebrew word for “evil” here is ra, the main Hebrew word for “evil.” Then seemingly speaking of the devil He says,
“Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the spoiler to destroy” (Isa. 54:16).
Astonishingly, in the next verse he says no misfortunes occur unless He causes it!
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city and the people not be alarmed and afraid? Shall misfortune or evil occur [as punishment] and the Lord has not caused it? (Amos 3:6 AMP).
Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts (Rev. 2:22-23 NKJV).
We know from the book of Job that although Satan attacked Job, God allowed it. So I believe nothing bad can happen to a believer unless God allows it for some reason or reasons unknown to us. This gives me some comfort in times of personal tragedy instead of believing the devil can just randomly do whatever he wants in our lives.
In our case we got a warning sign. The Lord often speaks to us through signs. However, signs need to be interpreted, and often we don’t know what God is saying through them until it comes to pass.
I was a founder of a Messianic Jewish congregation in Rich. VA and served there in leadership for seven years even though I am not Jewish. I learned a lot about Jewish traditions. One was that when a boy was born, some Jewish parents would plant a tree. Then, when the boy got married, they would use branches from the tree for huppah poles (wedding canopy). I did this when Isaac was born, and we have gotten signs from that tree previously concerning him. A couple weeks before he went to Arizona, his tree fell over. The first thing I thought was, “This does not look like a good sign.” A friend and I pushed the tree up and tied it with three ropes to hold it straight. I knew some roots broke, and I did not know if it would survive or not. It did survive.
So it seems like God was speaking to us in advance about this, as He often does; but it was not enough information for us to know what it was about or to prevent him from going on the trip. So what was the sign for? Maybe we needed to pray about the sign much more than we did. I really don’t know. Nevertheless, after the fact we took some comfort in knowing that God knew about what was going to happen in advance and that He is in control. Now, like the three ropes I have holding the tree straight, he is wearing a back brace with three points of contact to help keep his back straight.
I got another sign shortly before the accident. I broke a plastic fitting on a drawer and had to glue it. It ran along a spine track in the middle of the top of the drawer, and the fitting was like a vertebra that wrapped along the spine. I fused it back together with glue as his back was fused together with rods and screws. These things are mysteries to me—why God chose to speak about these things through signs but not clear enough for any understanding until after the fact. If you have any ideas on any of these things, please leave comments on this blog.
As for us, we are very thankful knowing we have in a sense received Isaac back from the dead. We are also convinced that God is good, and good is going to come out of this for our family and the other family involved.