Last Friday, I began the story of God calling me into the ministry and my preparation and ordination. This week I will tell of a major family trial immediately after ordination.
Immediately after leaving Springfield, Mo. where I graduated in biblical studies we went to my parents home in Oklahoma before moving on to Denver, Co. This is where I would be ministering as an associate of a church. We were excited at our future prospects in ministry there.
While in Springfield, our third child, Caleb, had been born. During our stay at my parents home Caleb got the sniffles one day. During the night he began throwing up and we thought he probably had a virus. I had gone to visit my grandmother the next morning and Linda, my wife, called informing me that Caleb had started turning blue from his waist down. She quickly took Caleb to the nearest hospital emergency room in Bartlesville and I rushed to meet her there.
After a quick look at the symptoms, and performing some tests, we were informed that he had contracted spinal meningitis. The news was shocking enough for us to hear, but our faith was really challenged when we were told by the doctors that he had survival chances of 50%. Should he survive, they said, he would more than likely be deaf, mentally challenged, or both. Wow! Within 24 hours only slight sniffles had turned into a life threatening situation. I felt like Job must have felt to an extent. We were resting and looking forward to our move and suddenly driven to our knees, helpless in ourselves, trusting in our great triune God like we never had before.
We prayed, as well as many many others for our Caleb. The doctors told us that we would know within 48 hours or so if he were to survive or not. The next 48 hours seemed like forever. Hospitals tend to do that to most people. We pleaded with The Lord that His will be done and asked that if He would be pleased to heal Caleb.
Caleb’s condition did not worsen in the next hours, and as time slowly passed he slightly began to improve. After 48 hours or so the doctors brought us the great news that he was expected to live. Praise God!! At that time it was not known what his condition would be until he had regained strength and improved more.
Caleb remained in the hospital for 2 weeks or longer. (It’s hard to remember exactly after 35 years or so). When he was released to us to leave the hospital God again displayed His mercy to us. He was neither deaf or mentally challenged. Before the illness he had been not only walking, but running every where. Upon release, he could not even sit up by himself but was like a very young baby again. We made the move on to Denver when he was able to do so. As the weeks went by his strength began to reemerge. He first learned to sit up on his own, then he began to crawl, and after a few months our son was walking on his own again. He had to relearn the same process all over again. But he did!!!
I’m pleased to tell you that today Caleb is the father of 5 children, a journeyman electrician, and a believer in The Lord Jesus Christ, along with his household. Only God can receive the glory for this. It was a trial for us, but our faith again was strengthened in how awesome our God is, and of His loving kindness toward us through it. What Satan meant for evil God meant it for good. What Satan meant to detour us from God’s work The Lord strengthened us in it.
Until next time, Lord willing,