A Quarter Century…God has brought incredible good out of a senseless accident

…is a long time.

I can remember when a quarter-century was my whole life, then most of my life. Now it’s less than half my life, but it’s still a long time.

A quarter-century ago today, lots of things were different for me. I still had hair, for example. And I could walk. Tomorrow’s the twenty-five year anniversary of the day a whole bunch of things changed.

Twenty-five years ago tomorrow, on December 5, 1987, I didn’t suddenly lose my hair. That happened a little more gradually. But I got out of bed that morning and walked down a set of stairs for the final time. By the time I fell asleep that night, if you can call it sleep, I was permanently paralyzed below my chest.

I refuse to minimize or romanticize my injury. I don’t like sitting in a wheelchair any more now than I did a quarter-century ago. It’s frustrating and difficult and painful.

But God’s been faithful and relentless in the grace He’s demonstrated. I can testify to the truth of Romans 8:28. God has brought incredible good out of a senseless accident, and for that I’m grateful.

I’ve been asked often if, knowing the outcome, I’d trade the experience of the injury. My answer is an unqualified YES, because I believe God would also have brought good from an injury-free life. I’ve learned that life’s truly determined, not by circumstances, but by how we choose to respond to them.

So I’m grateful, not for injury or non-injury, but for Jesus’ love and presence in all situations.

I’m also grateful that doctors aren’t always right. A few weeks after the injury, as reality settled around me, I asked the neurosurgeon about life expectancy for someone with this type of injury.

“Well,” he said, “you’ll most likely make it past forty, (I was thirty-six at the time) but I wouldn’t count on getting to fifty.” Neurosurgeons are known for their sensitive bedside manner.

He’s retired now. Maybe I should give him a call and see if he’d like to ride his bike a thousand miles around Florida with me on Florida Hope Tour 2013.

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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