Chris wanted to celebrate his 12th birthday at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. Before they left home, his father, a pastor, prayed for a good time and for safety.
One of the first rides Chris wanted to go on was the double merry-go-round. As Chris slid off his “great white stallion,” his foot slipped, catching his right leg on the metal stirrup. He fell off the horse, and the stirrup tore his pants and cut his leg.
He was rushed to a nearby emergency clinic, surrounded by his family, and when Chris saw all the blood and torn flesh and felt the excruciating pain, he lost consciousness. The medics discovered that he had ripped his leg open enough to require 37 stitches.
Chris was pretty upset. He was one of the better swimmers on his school’s swim team. The doctor told him it would be at least six weeks or more before he could even consider competing again. In his frustration he yelled at his dad, “You prayed we’d have a good time and no one would get hurt. Well, I got hurt and we didn’t have a good time.”
Two weeks later, Chris developed an ear ache. After the otolaryngologist examined his right ear, he said, “Chris, it’s a good thing you aren’t swimming now. Your ear is badly infected and, had you continued swimming, the ear drum would have burst, and you’d be permanently deaf in that ear.”
When they arrived home, Chris, the first to get out, struggled to stand up, and leaned across the top of the car. When his dad got out, Chris quietly said, “Dad, God seems to be deaf but as you often say, the Lord promises, “Call me and I’ll answer, and be at your side in the bad times. I’ll rescue you” (Psalm 91:15, MSG).
Then he hobbled on his injured leg around the car and grabbed his dad in a huge hug, his head buried in his dad’s chest, sobbing and sobbing, “I’m sorry, so sorry.”
They each walked toward the house, buried in thought. His mom, silently thanking God for her family; his father, meditating on Psalm 48:11( MSG), “God does what he said he’d do!” and Chris, knowing he had the best Father’s Day present this year ever, a renewed trust in his father’s prayers.
An ambulance siren could be heard in the distance. Chris paused as he remembered the sound.