Hope against hope

Hope against hope image

It was an ordinary winter’s day. Amanda was pottering about the house. Isaac, her 18 month old was happily playing in the back room. Or was he? Suddenly Amanda realised she hadn’t heard anything from the back room for some minutes. She hurried in. Isaac wasn’t there but the back door was open.

A cold sense of panic came over Amanda as she run outside. Isaac was lying face down in the fishpond, not breathing. He had climbed the fence.

Amanda lifted him out. Tucking him under one arm she rushed back into the house, grabbed her phone as she continued through the house and out into the street. She laid him on the ground and while pumping his chest with one hand she called triple zero. At the same time she managed to scream for help.

A neighbour heard the scream and came running. While he continued CPR Amanda gave the ambulance directions.

By the time Isaac got into Emergency it had been 20 minutes since Amanda first found him unconscious and not breathing. The doctors were sceptical that anything could be done to save him. He still wasn’t breathing on his own. But because his temperature had dropped to 32 degrees they kept going. Miraculously after 30 minutes Isaac started to breath.

He was eventually taken to ICU but the news was very grim. The doctors didn’t expect him to live because he had not breathed on his own for so long. They warned Amanda and her husband Toby that if Isaac did live he would have significant brain damage.

Amanda rang a friend she knew went to church and asked her to pray. The friend rang the chaplain at the hospital who went straight to ICU. He spoke to the medical team first and found out the horrible prognosis. As he approached Isaac’s bed he was thinking through how to help Toby and Amanda with their tragic loss. They spoke briefly. Then Amanda asked the chaplain to pray for Isaac.

Realising that medically there was not much hope the chaplain asked, “What would you like me to pray?” Amanda said, “We want our little boy back.”

The chaplain prayed that despite the grim situation God would give Isaac back to Amanda and Toby in full health and strength and help them to trust Him no matter what happened.

Two days later Isaac was back to his normal self. A brain scan showed just two tiny shadows, the size of pin pricks, clearly not enough to stop this toddler. The Ambos heard that he had recovered but could not believe that this little boy they saw running around the hospital ward was the same one who a few days previously had not breathed for 30 minutes. The doctors couldn’t explain the recovery and held a special conference with a packed auditorium and people attending by video link. The lead doctor said that with no scientific explanation he could only describe it as “divine intervention.”

Acts 3 tells of an ordinary day round about AD 33. The apostle Peter asked the crowds why they were so astounded. “This is what Jesus has done. Therefore repent and believe.”

Today is an ordinary day. We may not see a little boy given life again, nor a man lame since birth walk and leap about all over the place. But, with eyes of faith, we do see Jesus working and sustaining everything in His creation. In the ordinariness of life we see Jesus. And knowing that it is Jesus, raised from death, working behind the scenes, we repent and believe.

David has ministered as a Chaplain in prisons, hospitals and the Navy. He has been the Rector of a Sydney parish and been a missionary, church planting in Japan. David now manages the Chaplains in prisons and hospitals in the Sydney Diocese.

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