“Unbelievable.” That was all I could manage to say audibly as my wife and I were given the news of the accident my brother-in-law Jeremy had been in. It was early on the morning of the 18th of September that we began to understand the details of the events of the previous night. While my mouth produced, ”unbelievable” as an expression, my heart was saying confidently, “God is good!”Jeremy is a senior at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana.He worked as the student athletic director and was majoring in Sports management and Business.He was what many of the athletes called their ‘practice dummy’.Though he did not play on any of the many sports teams Grace had, he practiced with all of them.The girls volleyball team was his focus of late as he practiced with them.Jeremy had taken an interest in one of the volleyball players and was out on what might be considered a first date with Malorie.They had taken a walk around the city park lake and were sitting in a hammock by the lake when the tree the Hammock was secured to uprooted and fell on them both.Malorie was killed instantly as the tree struck her in the head.Jeremy was struck in the back of the neck was instantly paralyzed.A passerby discovered them and called 911. Jeremy was life-flighted to a Fort Wayne hospital where he was met by a trauma team and neurosurgeon.By 3pm on the 19th Jeremy was already recovering from his second surgery.They had taken bone from his hip and fused his neck after replacing his c-3 and c-4 vertebra with a block of bone from his femur.The neurosurgeon sat with us and plainly told us Jeremy would be a quadriplegic and would be on a ventilator the rest of his life.We continued to pray.I heard a saying once that as Christians we ought to pray as if it all depends on God and work as if it all depends on us.We have, maybe unknowingly, embraced that attitude.We prayed hard.We enlisted prayer support from around the country, and in fact from around the globe.A website was established so that friends and family could keep up to date with the latest news on Jeremy’s recovery.In less than 10 days that site has had over 20,000 visitors.Many of the messages left for Jeremy via that site have included statement concerning the prayers that have been said for Him and his recovery.Our best estimate is that there are some 15-20 thousand individuals praying for Jeremy’s recovery.The evening after surgery Jeremy had no feeling or sensation below his ears.As prayers were offered in faith believing that God could heal Jeremy if he desired we began to see improvement in the first 24 hours.By Monday evening, the day after his last surgery, Jeremy was responding to questions by shrugging his shoulders.Prayers of thanksgiving were said and followed by continued requests for his recovery.As of the time of this writing Jeremy has movement of his shoulders, feeling down to the middle of his chest and his elbow of his right arm. He is also breathing through a ventilator but at a higher rate and volume than the ventilator is dictating, meaning he is doing some of the breathing on his own.Another part of his prognosis was a timeframe for his initial recovery which included a month in the ICU followed by a year in a rehab center.At our last report the doctors were hoping to discharge him from the ICU 2 weeks early and he could be home and out of rehab by Christmas.All of this is shared so that I can say, GOD IS GOOD!You may be wondering; “How can this family possibly say ‘God is good’ after an injury that has left their son and brother paralyzed?”Well, here’s what you need to know about how Jeremy and our family are dealing with this tragedy; GOD is good! Every event and challenge in life is an opportunity for God to be glorified. We understand that as Christians our purpose here on earth is to glorify God, so if God is glorified we are satisfied. We know that God is in control and that he has a plan in allowing this to happen to Jeremy. Job 14.5 assures us that God knows the number of our days and we can do nothing to change what God has decreed will happen. Seeing then that Jeremy is still with us we are confident that God has a plan for him. Jeremy, as well as our family, are looking forward to seeing answered prayer and God's grace demonstrated in all of our lives.
In 1994 Jeremy recognized the truth in Titus 3:5 that there was nothing he could ever do that would be good enough to merit God's favor and eternal salvation. Even as a young boy he understood his need for a Savior and repented of his sins placing his faith and hope for salvation in what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. That faith in Christ is what is sustaining him and his family today.
The Bible tells us in Romans chapter 3 and chapter 6 that 'all have sinned' and 'the wages of sin is death', eternal separation from God in Hell. It also tells us that 'the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ'.
Jesus Christ's death on the cross was the sacrifice necessary to satisfy the righteous wrath of a Holy God against sin. The book of Romans tells us that if we do not know Jesus as our personal Savior, the way Jeremy and his family do, that you are the enemy of God. As his enemies, though he loves us, we are subject to his wrath and judgment, HELL.
You too have a decision to make. Life is short and this tragedy is a reminder that the life we have can change in an instant. Will you be ready to meet God when you die?
Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12... for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Our desire is that through Jeremy's testimony of faith and dependence on God others might come to know Christ as their personal Savior, and through that God would be glorified.