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An Answered Prayer

Editorial by Ricardo Bacchus

"I don’t think your son’s going to make it,” said the chaplain at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to my parents. “It’s not looking good.” 

On April 4, 2009, during postoperative care for ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease, something went terribly wrong. My left lung collapsed, I stopped breathing and fell into a coma. Code blue was set in motion, as nurses hooked me to every resuscitation device available. Conventional wisdom pointed to a young man’s death, and it was the chaplain’s duty to break the heart-wrenching news to my parents. 

But my mother and father weren’t finished with me yet—they set Code God in motion! On their knees, they cried out for Him to save my life. My sister and brother-in-law also prayed earnestly. Two thousand miles away, my cousin started a prayer chain with friends and family members, pleading for God to do the impossible.

And the impossible happened. I woke up to a screaming nurse yelling my name. My parents’ tears of sadness transformed into tears of joy. My mom kissed my forehead, and said, “You’re my little Lazarus.” Eight years later, I have an unbelievable wife, an adorable 2-year-old, an amazing job and a cozy home. 

Why God?

I wish I could say my life is as perfect as my Facebook posts, but I’d be lying; God hasn’t answered all of my prayers. Like, why did "Papa," my grandfather, die a year after my miracle? I prayed, didn’t I? And why hasn’t God yet healed my friend’s dad who has stage 4 cancer? Do I need to dirty my knees more for Him to respond? I mean, sometimes I find it hard to relate to my favorite passage of Scripture: “God is [my] refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1, NIV).   

However, it’s the times I doubt God when He reminds me to trust and praise Him always, because His promises are like the ever-present sun in the sky, even when all I see are dark curtains of gray clouds. The story of Job is one example in which he lost nearly everything that was near and dear to him, yet managed to exclaim, “‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’” (Job 1:20, 21, NIV). 

Even if God doesn’t react to my prayers—or yours—exactly how I want Him to doesn’t mean heaven is too far for my “Wi-Fi” to reach Him. In His own time, in His own way, He repeatedly responds. 

I’ll admit, sometimes I get angry when God seems to avoid my plea for help. But it’s at that moment—when I’ve forgotten what God has done for me in the past—that my son comes up to me, points to my scar and asks, “What is that, Daddy?” and I simply say, “An answered prayer.” 

Ricardo Bacchus, assistant editor of the Visitor, serves as newsletter editor and editor of the Visitor News Bulletin e-newsletter.

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