Today is my youngest son’s birthday. Some of you are aware that we went through a major crisis with him almost three years ago. I received the call that is every parent’s nightmare. "Mr. Butler, your son has been in accident."
My wife and I were in Atlanta. I was less than an hour away from putting her on a plane to Ireland. Instead, we made the five-hour drive to Charleston to find our baby battling for his life.
I’m grateful to tell you that he is alive today. But his life is very different from what it once was. He is paralyzed from the waist down. He lives by himself. He holds a job. He drives his own car. He is quite independent. But life changed in a moment that Wednesday morning.
I have to make a confession to you. Though I know his situation, every time I see him, it takes my breath away. I’m not surprised, but it’s like having a cup of ice cold water thrown in my face. Reality sets in and I know that life is different today. Because of a blown tire on a work truck traveling up Interstate 95, everything changed.
I remember watching that boy run up and down soccer fields and basketball courts. I’ve seen him score the winning goals in both sports. I’ve also seen him hurt. We made more than one trip to the ER with injuries of one kind or another. But nothing can prepare you for the sight of your child in bed attached to machines with wires and tubes like that.
I’ve thought often of that dark period in the summer of 2013. Why did it happen? Could it have been prevented? Doubts attempt to creep in. Where was God? Why did he allow it?
I am comforted by my assurance of two things. First, God remains as strong today as he was when he created the universe in which we reside. He is strong enough to raise the dead. He cannot be defeated. And then, God is good. He loves us and wants the best for us.
I know some cannot reconcile those ideas with pain and sorrow. But I trust God to keep his promises. He has said he will defeat evil and win the victory. I trust that he is telling the truth. My son will one day have new legs and walk. Until that day, we all walk by faith. It’s not always easy. But he will never leave us or forsake us. We can count on him.