(By:  Steven A. Reynolds)

As long as I'm alive ... I'm relying on GOD'S ability to somehow be a blessing to others...because honestly...I've all run out of my OWN ability a long time ago.

The Apostle Paul came to an amazing revelation through his own suffering, I believe, when he wrote:  

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:10)

I don't see myself on the spiritual level that Apostle Paul was...YET...but with God..."All things are possible"!  

I hope somehow my testimony will be a source of encouragement to you, especially if you don't see much left to live for. I know the feeling; I've tasted that anguishing reality ...

Early on a foggy January morning in 1998, I was driving to work, up Highway 10 to Orangeville, Ontario. A tractor-trailer, hauling 37 tons of gravel, drove out in front of me and I never saw it, until my windshield hit the trailer. Even though I was driving well within the speed limit, the impact knocked me into the back seat, and into nowhere, for up to eight weeks. 

When I awakened - my job was gone, my car was gone, and my left arm was useless. I was paralyzed on my entire left side, and my mouth was wired shut.

Two motorists heard the impact and pulled over to see if they could help. Darlene was driving home from an early morning business meeting in the town of Caledon, just ahead. When she heard the impact, she pulled over to the shoulder and crawled into the back seat of my car, which was jammed under the trailer. Holding my hand, she encouraged me to stay alive. (I was to later hand her a couple of gospel related booklets in a coffee shop not long after I was released from the hospital). 

Ian also heard the impact and pulled over. Working with truck drivers for a living, he walked around the rig to talk to the driver. When he saw my car, he pulled his cell phone from his belt and dialed 911. Two Ontario Provincial Police cruisers were the first to arrive on the scene. While one of the constables directed traffic around the wreck, the other looked into the driver's side of my now demolished car, and saw me lying in a pool of blood with my left arm hanging over my head. I was groaning in an attempt to answer Darlene, who asked me my name. When he saw this, he emotionally doubled over, quickly walked back to his cruiser, radioed for more emergency assistance, then - on a cell phone - he called his wife and let her know he was coming home early.

While the paramedics kept losing my pulse, Darlene screamed at them to keep trying to save me. It took the fire department three quarters of an hour to get me out of the wreck. They slashed my tires, thinking they could lower my vehicle enough to extract me. When that attempt failed, they arranged to dump the trailer of all its gravel and raise the thing off of me. Then they cut me out with the Jaws-Of-Life.

I was stabilized at Headwaters Hospital in Orangeville. As my injuries were far more extensive than that hospital was equipped to handle, I was supposed to be air-lifted to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. Weather conditions, however, did not permit for that form of transportation. So, I was rushed via land ambulance, where an MD accompanied me.

Upon my arrival, I underwent 32 hours of surgery to my face and sixteen hours of surgery to my arm. The surgeon who operated on my face was not only a plastic surgeon, but was one of only four cranial facial surgeons of his specialty in the country. As for my arm, it was operated on by the Chief of Orthopedic Surgery.

I was two months at Sunnybrook, drifting in and out of a coma. The entire pastoral staff at my church of twelve pastors came out to visit me. Also, there came the whole Singles group. I then spent another two months at the Rehabilitation Institute of Toronto, where among other things, I had to learn how to walk all over again.

With the exception of my nose and teeth, I sustained two broken eye sockets, two broken cheek bones, two broken jaw joints, a broken mouth in seventeen places, eleven fractured ribs, a bruised lung, brain injuries in three parts of my brain, dislocated left shoulder, dislocated left forearm, severed nerves, crushed left elbow, and a crushed left humerus bone. My brain injuries robbed me of my balance, obscured my eyesight, altered my personality, and caused my judgments to be unsound. 

Over ten years, God did a healing work in me, where I don't make as many unsound judgments as I used to. My eyesight is healed, where I need only wear reading glasses. My balance is much better, now. As for my personality, I used to be a very quiet and reserved guy. Not so much anymore, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm still quiet to a limited degree, but not nearly as much as I used to be. 

I still don't walk all that well, because my acquired brain injuries is causing my left foot to invert, but God is in control. I now know why God allowed me to suffer this experience. It was to make me grow, and to give me first hand knowledge of brain injuries, so as to serve Him in a ministry that is the only one of its kind in Ontario and probably the country. Ultimately, it will be God glorifying.

I miss my job, but God doesn't want me working just any job, anymore. As mentioned above, He wants me in this ministry, I suspect, permanently - or for many years. I guess this is why I was so well financially awarded.

As for my arm, God meant that for good, too. That's what I'm believing. What good, remains to be seen yet.

Eleven years ago, after two surgeons told me I'd never use my arm again, I had in mind to have my arm amputated. I did not see the logic behind keeping an arm that wasn't going to work. But it was a still, soft, quiet voice, deep down inside, that kept saying, 'No, don't do it.' Then, I got from the Spirit through many friends and acquaintances that God will heal my arm. So, I decided against it. 

It took me a minimum of three years for me to emotionally get over what happened. At first, I was angry at God, because I lost my job. I was angry at God, because my arm didn't work. I was angry at God, because I had to sit myself in a wheelchair eight hours a day. I was angry at God, because I had to reside in the Acquired Brain Injury Unit of the place. I was angry at God for letting me live. I was so angry at God, I almost hated Him. I couldn't play my guitar anymore. At that time, I had been a guitarist 16 years. This year, 2010, I will have been a guitarist 28 years, and an amateur musician for 33 years.

New Year's day, 2000, I gave my guitar to God, as the longing to get back on it was eating me away. Like my health, it's in His hands. It doesn't mean God will let me play my guitar again, after He heals me, but at least I know He's still in control.

My arm hurts to this day. Aside from prayer for its healing, I ignore the pain. Pain can be controlled. If one can ignore pain, it ceases to hurt as much. 

When will God heal me? God will do so, when He sees I am ready to be healed, and when it glorifies Him the most. For God is Holy and His timing is perfect.

I know many who are reading this feel like God has betrayed them - let them down - can't be bothered - is cruel and uncaring. Maybe you've even quit asking, "WHY God???!!!!"...because no answer(s) come.  

I can tell you a secret about God, if you would care to hear it. Tell Jesus Christ you are THANKFUL for what has happened to you. Tell Him OFTEN, especially when you're the most miserable. (The secret to unleash God's supernatural help in every difficult situation you face in life is proper ATTITUDE and GRATITUDE to God). Tell your heavenly Father; Jesus Christ; The Holy Spirit ... that you are no LONGER going to remain a victim of life's painful circumstances ... but from this moment forward, you are going to become a VICTOR. A victor through Jesus Christ to the glory of God The Father!

I know these are hard words for some to read. Have you ever considered that the pain life has handed you might be your "Job Testing?" If you've haven't ever read the Book of Job in the Old Testament Bible, I would strongly encourage you to do so. Job was caught in the middle of a battle between good and evil ... and Job refused to be bitter and angry and STAY that way toward God. Job passed his test. That's what the whole trial was really all about. God was testing him - to qualify him - so his reward in eternity would be beyond human comprehension! Yes - God used Satan to accomplish some eternal good for Job. And ... as a testimony of hope and encouragement for multitudes of others right down to this very day. 

Was Job's test a cruel test? Our human reasoning would say it was. Yet our human reasoning doesn't have a CLUE the rewards God has waiting for us in eternity if we don't quit on God, and bear up under hardship in this life. Furthermore, no one on this side of heaven really knows the rewards awaiting those in eternity who may suffer the most in this life, now do they?  

God doesn't tell us about Job's future throughout eternity. Have you ever considered the possibility that your "Job Trial" may have waiting for you far greater rewards in eternity than even Job will be given -- if you don't stay angry at God and quit on Him?  

If you've read this far ... you're not a quitter on God. Don't stay a victim any longer. Let God transform you into a VICTOR for Jesus. I promise you won't regret doing so once you step into eternity.

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)