Time For God: Day 15

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Psalm 125:4
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts.

I first met Frank [name changed] at our local rehab hospital. He serves in the Spinal Cord Injury Program as a peer counsellor. Frank took great delight in showing me how he operates his “sip-puff” wheelchair. By sipping or puffing into a straw-like tube he guides the speed and direction of his travel. Frank is good; he needs to be. As a quadriplegic, he lost the use of all four limbs at one once.
“Paul, I need to cough,” he said. “Get ready to push hard with the heel of your hand deep into my chest. Don’t hold back. I can’t feel any pain. Do it when I nod.” He nodded; I pushed hard. So hard, I feared breaking three of his ribs. It took several attempts before he was able, at last, to cough and free his chest of congestion.

Frank told me his story. In his seventeenth summer he attended hockey camp. A good athlete, he aimed to play for the NHL. Scouts were already watching him. After a hot morning of hard training he met with other would-be stars at the edge of the lake. Like them he ran and dove into the cool waters. Unlike them he slipped. He entered the water at the wrong angle.

Embedding his head in the mud of the lake, his forward momentum abruptly snapped his neck.
A local hospital had recently discovered a breakthrough procedure. They could now treat a high fracture at the third cervical vertebra. They saved Frank’s life but not his mobility. Frank lost his career; he found his real calling.
Has God “done good” to those who are good? Has he “done good” to Frank? Can tragedies erase God’s goodness? In my hearing, Frank has never complained. I’ve heard him thanking God for repurposing his life. I see how he serves God by putting heart back into others. Through Frank God touches lives that are broken by trauma.

Frank says—and fully means it—God is good all the time! All the time, God is good! That refrain resounds in churches across the globe. Frank’s life embodies his words. Followers of Jesus live Christ’s message of healing in a broken world.

How has God demonstrated His goodness to you? When has he shown you His love through trauma? How can you share your encouragement with family or friends?

Lord, sometimes life’s mystery overwhelms me. Dark events contradict your light and love. Show me again the quality of your care. Open a window in heaven. Shine your light and love into my heart’s dark recesses, today. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

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