#121 Divine Intervention

Photo by Ashely McKinney Brown, Shining Light Photography 

I grew up in Mississippi in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1963, I graduated from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminar. Shortly thereafter, I accepted a call to pastor a church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  After 50 years in ministry, I still enjoy being a pastor very much.

Last month, I was preaching on Sunday morning. It was like any other Sunday morning except that particular July morning, I was having some chest pains. After the service, I blacked out for a little while. Even though I wasn’t feeling well, my wife and I joined our son and his wife for lunch after church. I continued to have some chest pain through our lunch. When we got ready to leave the restaurant to go home, I got into our car to drive my wife and I home and our car wouldn’t start. Our son then got into our car and he couldn’t start the car either. This was very curious because it was a new car and we had never had a problem with it before. So, our son and his wife drove us home from the restaurant. When we got home I still wasn’t feeling well. They checked my blood pressure and it was very low – something like 80/38. They called 911. When the EMTs came, they checked me out and took me to the hospital where I was admitted. Meanwhile, my son-in-law went to check our car at the restaurant and it started right up the first time he tried it. Since this time, the car has always started just fine on the first try.

The next day there was a time when I was alone in my hospital room. I had no visitors and there were no doctors or nurses around. I began to have a very difficult time breathing. It was at just this time that our daughter came to my door and seeing that I was having this episode, she went to get help. The doctors and nurses came quickly. The cardiologist told me I was having a heart attack. The next day I had three stents placed because I had three blocked arteries in my heart. Since that time, I have been recuperating and now I am doing much better. I have resumed preaching on Sundays. I am thankful that I can continue serving as pastor because God is blessing the church in many ways. It is prospering and good changes are taking place in the lives of the people.

If my car had started at the restaurant, I could have blacked out or had a heart attack on the way home, causing a wreck and hurting my wife or other people. Because our son and daughter-in-law drove us home, they were able to check my blood pressure and call 911 to get me to the hospital before I had a heart attack. If our daughter hadn’t come to the hospital at just the right moment, I may not have gotten the care I needed in time to save me from the heart attack. Everyone we know – including me – believes that God intervened. God is faithful and He promises never to leave us or forsake us. He has demonstrated this to me many times in my life. This was only one of many occasions.  There are many other stories I could share!

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

#96 God’s Strength in the Ocean

 Photo by Chelsea Jo Photography

Several years ago I had a massive heart attack while I was on vacation in Mexico. I nearly died before they could get me back to the United States for treatment. Because of the delay in my care, there was much damage to my heart.  

My wife and I hadn’t been on a vacation for years since that trip to Mexico. Just recently we decided to go on a cruise to the Caribbean. I was anxious about the trip because of what happened last time in Mexico. A friend prayed for me before we went—specifically that God would show me in the first part of the trip that He was with us. My friend prayed that God would make it known to me that He was there with me and that God would show me in a way that was very clear to me. 

We left for our cruise and our first stop was in the British Virgin Islands. We got off the cruise ship and went to a small island, Baths. We walked to the beach and put our stuff down on the sand. I turned around and saw two people swimming pretty far out in the ocean. I told my wife that I was going to go out to where the people were and for her to stay in the shallow end. I got in the water and started leisurely swimming out toward the two people in the ocean. As I got closer, I noticed the fear in the woman’s eyes and I could see the man was up against the woman. 

I swam closer and heard her yell, “Help! Help!” 

I said, “Is he sick?” 

The woman said, “No, we are drowning!” 

The man was almost underwater and she had her hand twisted in his shirt, trying to hold him up.

I told her to hang on to him. I got her by the wrist and took off swimming toward the beach, pulling both of them. As we got close to the shore, another man came into the ocean to help pull us in. Once we were back on shore, the man was recovering; I was recovering myself, as I was exhausted from the swim.

The woman asked me where I was from. I told her I was from Kentucky. She couldn’t believe it. She said, “You aren’t even from around the ocean?! We live in Daytona Beach and we are in the ocean all the time, but we have never been in that kind of trouble before.” 

There is no way that I could have pulled that man and woman from that far out in the ocean on my own. My heart is not strong because much of my heart muscle was destroyed in my previous heart attack. I also have a pacemaker and defibrillator. God sent me out there and God pulled us right back in, saving those two people. I believe this is how God answered my friend’s prayer. God showed us that He was with us. There was no doubt about that. The rest of our vacation was wonderful. 

This is just one of many stories I could share about God’s faithfulness and goodness to us. I have seen the Lord work in wonderful ways in my life and the life of my family. 

Let all that I am praise the Lord;

may I never forget the good things he does for me. 

Psalm 103:2

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.