A Real Miracle

This is a true story of a real-life miracle that happened a month or two ago. While I might paint the scenery around the foreground to make the blog post more interesting, the core of the story is entirely true and without exaggeration.

To comprehend the situation fully you first need to understand something about my wife and for that let me use an analogy: women are like vehicles. Some women are shiny, sleek racing cars; others are reliable SUV mini-people-movers; still others are utility vans. As different as the vehicles are, they all have their good qualities. Notwithstanding my wife’s beauty and lovely personality, she’s definitely an M1A2 Abrams Tank. She probably averages about 0.8 sick days a year. If you cut her arm off she’d stay home only long enough to cauterize the wound with the heated base of a fry pan and only let out a barely audible hiss of discomfort while doing it. Then she’d be at work without delay. Such is my wife; one tough unit.

So about a month or so back I told her I was experiencing some minor back pain. Not too uncommon for me, just enough to let make me uncomfortable and let me know I’d better not overdo it. I’d give it a 1/10 on the pain threshold. She said she too had a bit of back pain. Not unheard of, we’re both aging :). Throughout the week neither of us said much about it but we were both still dealing with it, without much in the way of visible signs.

On the Wednesday night she didn’t play basketball because of her sore back, which clued me in slightly that this was more than just discomfort. (I’m not the most observant man). I suggested we didn’t need to do a food shop this week. She replied we did have to because we were having dinner guests on Friday night. I offered to do the food shopping if she needed me too; she went ahead and did it herself anyway.

At work on the Friday I got an email in which she told me her back was really quite bad, and she’d just cancelled our dinner plans for the evening. Our outing for Saturday (adventure rooms) was also in jeopardy. For her to tell me she was in pain I knew it was bad. I offered to leave work early and catch a bus to her so I could drive her home. I suggested she leave work early. She declined both. Only later did I find out that “bad pain” actually translated to excruciating pain like:

  • I can’t stand up from my seat
  • I’ve been holding back tears all day

That’s my wife – a real unit of strength and tight-jaw suffering. I wasn’t sure what condition she’d be in when I got home. I certainly didn’t expect what I found.

I walked in the door to see her standing in the centre of the lounge room with tears of joy in her eyes and worship music blaring on the stereo. “Watch this,” she said as she lifted her knee up to her chin, and then the other one, followed by other displays of radical flexibility.

As she tells the story, she’d been suffering with the pain all day. As a colleague was leaving for the day she prayed with her for healing. Nothing overly special: just a prayer. A few minutes later my wife was driving in the car and realised she could lean forward without any pain. She tested it, moving around as much as she could and there was no pain. When she was at home she tested it fully: 100% movement, 0% discomfort. A miracle. Praise God.

Some might say it was just a fluke, some movement which cleared the pain. It’s possible, but unlikely. What’s the chances that after a week of pain, and a whole day of excruciating pain, it just happened to go within mere minutes of prayer? It could be a coincidence but once “coincidences” stack up continuously, then you have to believe it is something more.

We have faith and know that God can and does listen to our prayers. Why he answers some times, and not others, who can say… but what a wonderful example of God’s love demonstrated to my wife.

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My Bio: In The Beginning

I shared recently that I like to know the backgrounds of the authors that I read. Here is my first contribution toward sharing my background.

Life Starts with a Miracle

Hi, My name is Ben Ezard, but it almost wasn’t.Profile pic - small

The first my parents knew of the pregnancy was when the doctor told them they had suffered an incomplete miscarriage (at 2 months). My mum had an ultrasound (prior to the dilation and curettage being scheduled) which proved I was very much alive.

At 15 weeks there was a major membrane rupture, leaving only about one cup of amniotic fluid. As my mum later wrote:

The doctor gave us the choice of returning home, which inevitably meant we would lose the baby, or stay in hospital to wait for it to abort anyway. It was implied there was a very, very slim chance of survival if I stayed.

The doctor informed my parents that even if I managed to live I would most likely be physically and cognitively disabled.

Just five days later:

By Friday my condition was so bad that the doctor could only shake his head when he examined me.  He expected the end to come within 24 hours, and I was prepared for it if it was to be.

The church rallied around my parents and prayed for me to be born healthy and alive; in direct contrast to the doctor’s 23 years of experience. My mum received an assurance from God, and clung to Psalm 139 that illustrates that God is intimately involved in the life of all.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-15)

From that Sunday, 15 weeks into pregnancy, my mum remained in  hospital for the duration of the pregnancy. In a beautiful display of love my dad visited her each day before and after work (about 160 visits), and my maternal grandmother cared for my older sisters during the week.

At 28 weeks I was done with the cramped conditions in mum’s uterus and made an early appearance. I was admitted to intensive care, and had five complete blood transfusions because both my red and white blood cells weren’t right. After six weeks I was allowed to go home.

Benjamin’s development showed he was not only slow because of prematurity, but he was also somewhat lazy.

Just after I turned one my parents were informed that I would need two minor and two major operations, which would be the first of 11.

At 15 months I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (technically spastic quadraplegia because all four limbs are affected to a degree). My parents were informed that they would need to give me intensive long term physio.

I believe one of the main reasons Benjamin was healed this time was because the Lord hear the prayer of a little boy. “…help the doctor get it right this time because I’m tired of going to hospital.”

Whenever we saw the negative side of things Benjamin’s comment would always be… “we’ll have to ask God to make it right…”

Early Life

I consider myself incredibly blessed to have been born into a loving family. It is unlikely that without such dedicated parents I would have been so healthy and lived the life that I have. (Not to mention the excellent Australian public health care system).

1982-12 family - Copy
The obligatory family photo.

 

Another key aspect of my early life was seeing my parent’s faith expressed in every day living. Both of them served in our local church and our house was one of regular hospitality. For decades I was accustomed to seeing both parents spend time in the morning reading the Bible; prayer was common.

And so, based on the demonstration of their faith I accepted Jesus at the age of 9 (I think) and was baptised by my Dad in a half-rainwater tank outside of the church.

1987 fireman 1.png
Which male doesn’t like ‘fixing’ a fire? (Me: 6ish).

“God made me so I can make people happy.” Me, just before my 5th birthday.

I remember myself as a happy-go-lucky child, with a quick smile and sharing my Dad’s finely tuned (and somewhat unorthodox) sense of humour. If I was told I physically couldn’t do something, then I would make it my mission to prove them wrong. As my  mum recorded:

HIS CONFIDENCE is very high and he tries to persuade his Physio to play with him rather than work.  He is currently practising walking with sticks only, and doing extremely well, although somewhat slower.

Fast-forward a number of years and school challenged my positive outlook. As I grew older I began to realise that there were more activities that I couldn’t participate in. I longed to play football or basketball, and began to notice that the gap between my social standing and the ‘popular kids’ was growing into a chasm.

I remember struggling a lot emotionally and wanting to be ‘normal’. This was something that I would continue to work through for years…

(The end of this installment).