Some things in life have no earthly explanation. It’s just a God thing.
Miracles are not reserved for the characters in the Old and New Testaments; they happen to everyday people today, all around the world. Series creators Don Jacobson and K-LOVE Radio Network (14 million listeners) have joined together once again to produce a remarkable collection of modern-day miracles.
- A man who was mysteriously pulled from a broken truck as it sailed over a ravine
- A young boy who made a full recovery after being trapped under water for seven minutes
- A young girl who defied all medical prognoses and survived after her vehicle was hit by a train
- A mother, compelled to drive across town, who found her nine-year-old son stranded and alone at a busy intersection
Experiences like these are far more common than one may realize. From more than 1,000 occurrences, these more than 50 stories were chosen for their ability to amaze, encourage, and inspire all who live each day with both faith and doubt, victory and despair. Each day, the sunrise itself is a sign of God’s miraculous hand, and these stories prove that it’s only the beginning.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
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It's a God Thing Volume 2
When Miracles Happen to Everyday People
By DON JACOBSON, K-LOVE
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Donald C. Jacobson
All rights reserved.
The old truck was struggling up the dirt road that wound up the hill, but it was a beautiful summer day to be out with the family. It was 1976, and my husband, Steve, was driving the liquid feed truck for my dad, delivering feed to dairy farms for their cattle. With our two-year-old daughter, Robyn, standing between us in the cab and the tank full of liquid, we were slowly making the delivery to a ranch high in the Chino Hills of Southern California. It was so warm that day, and the higher we climbed in the old International truck, the hotter it seemed to get.
Near the top of the hill, just as the pull of the tank was at its peak, we heard a pop from beneath the truck. Instantly Steve stepped on the brakes. Nothing happened. The truck slowed under the weight of the load, and Steve threw me an anxious glance. "Jump out," he said, "and get some rocks for behind the tires."
As soon as I opened the door and started to get out, the truck began rolling backward. Steve was standing on the brakes with all his might, and with the open door pushing at my back, forcing me along with it, I knew I had to reach in and grab Robyn. Everything was happening so fast, and our little girl panicked and grabbed hold of Steve. "Go to Mommy," he called, pushing her back toward me.
By now the truck was moving so fast that I had to run to keep up, my feet slipping on the dirt track. Screaming at Steve to get out, I pulled Robyn by the legs as hard as I could. As soon as she was free, the truck seemed to surge back with even greater power. The open door knocked Robyn and me to the ground. I looked up and watched as Steve, still standing on the brakes, his face straining with all he had, continued backward. As the road twisted off to the side, the truck carried on, disappearing from view.
I screamed as I ran to the edge. I looked down and watched as the truck rolled over and over, tearing up the shrubbery, flipping from end to end with great clouds of dust swirling up into the air before settling four hundred feet below. I stood there with Robyn, holding her close. We were in shock, covered in blood, dirt, and dust from our fall. It was all too much to take in.
Suddenly Steve was next to us. There was not a speck of dust on his white T-shirt and white cord jeans. "How did you get here?" I asked.
"I don't know," he said, looking even more shocked than I felt. "I think God took me out of the truck." We looked down to see our house and car keys on the ground by our feet. We hugged and wept for a while and then started our long walk back down the dirt road to try and find help.
A man working in a nearby barn took us to my sister's house, from where we went to the doctor to get Robyn's and my wounds cleaned up. We told him our story, and as he looked at Steve, he warned him that tomorrow he'd feel pretty sore. We could tell he wasn't quite sure what to make of our story, and he told Steve that it would have been the adrenaline rush that got him out of the truck so quickly. Once it wore off, he could expect to feel sore.
We knew better. I had seen Steve in the truck as it went backward over the edge. I knew that the windows were up, and by that time, if he had managed to open a door, it would have knocked him down to the ground in an instant. There was just no way he could have made his own escape from the truck without so much as a speck of dirt on his clothes.
The next day Steve didn't have a sore muscle in his body. As he and my dad hiked down to the truck to make plans to get it out, they saw the broken driveshaft and mangled brake clamp. And they saw that even though his window was broken out, it was still in a rolled-up position with the door shut.
We knew right then, as we still know today, that God took him out of that truck. God chose to spare Steve's life because He wasn't done with my husband here on earth yet. How He did it, we don't know. But we do know that it was God and God alone.CHAPTER 2
Prisoners of Hope
It took only two days of a painful ankle for our entire world to be thrown into chaos. Before our oldest son started to complain that he was feeling sore, we had been just another growing family. Blase was four, his little brother was three, and I was five months pregnant with our third child. Life was full, chaotic, and wonderful.
Then on December 3, 2006, as Blase sat nursing his foot, I listened to a doctor deliver his diagnosis: an extremely rare form of leukemia. He had been healthy and active since birth, and the doctor's words stunned us. That numbness soon gave way to a series of overwhelming emotions as my husband and I felt our lives overrun by fear and terror.
The six months following the diagnosis were the hardest I have ever lived through. Blase was given extremely intense chemotherapy, but even with all the drugs being pumped into him, the doctors could only tell us that he had a 20 to 30 percent chance of surviving five more years "if he makes it through the treatment," they said. The chemo had been made for—and tested on—adults, not kids.
We were told that three and a half more years of chemotherapy, mostly inpatient, lay ahead of us. The side effects were frightening and gruesome, including brain damage, caused by the chemo being administered directly into the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord; paralysis; organ failure; sepsis; learning disabilities; drop foot; and a hundred other things. The fear grew even greater, and we prayed like crazy though we had no idea where God was in everything. He seemed distant, almost as though He had abandoned us. What we knew for sure was that we felt helpless.
Still we carried on, praying. Hundreds of people joined us, and we had Blase blessed by pastors and priests. Not a single day or night passed that I was not on my knees, crying out to God. And when we got tired or too discouraged to stand, many of our friends carried us along with their love and support.
As my first son fought for his life and my third child grew within me, the doctors told me that there was the possibility that my yet-to-be-born baby might be able to help. If the baby I was carrying was a bone marrow match to our ill son, they could use the umbilical cord to do a bone marrow transplant in hopes of a cure. Again they stressed that word if. I asked what would happen if it wasn't a match. Was there a chance of some other donor's bone marrow being used? "No," they said. "We won't consider a bone marrow transplant from anyone other than Blase's parents or siblings. The risk of death is too high."
"Okay," I said. "If this baby is a match, what's the chance of success?"
"If your son does end up having the transplant, the mortality rate is near 50 percent."
The bone marrow transplant team at the University of Michigan told us that while they carried out two hundred fifty transplants a year and had seen lots of pregnant moms, they had never seen a mom carrying a child that was a match to her ill child. They put the chances of a match at less than 25 percent. Searching for something to hold on to, we asked what the best-case scenario was.
"We never use the word cured in relation to a diagnosis like this. He may go into remission, but he will never be cured."
It felt as though our lives were full of big ifs and bad odds.
We couldn't understand why God would take one of our children and give us another. As much as we tried to be patient and trust God, we did not understand. We were broken; that was all there was to say.
In March 2007, I gave birth to our third beautiful baby boy. He was absolutely angelic from birth, but we had to wait until May to find out that his umbilical cord blood wasn't just a good match for our oldest son—it was perfect. The doctors had never seen this happen before and proceeded with the transplant in June 2007, making Blase, what we believe to be, the first recipient of sibling cord blood ever performed at U of M. And within just six months, his recovery was so advanced that he was taken off every single medicine and able to start kindergarten.
That was seven years ago, and these days our three boys are just as precious and healthy as they've ever been. And they have a baby sister too! And just last summer, during our son's annual checkup, we sat in the office of the same wonderful doctor who had told us never to expect a cure.
"Well," he said, a smile forming on his face, "he's cured! You don't ever need to come back to the Cancer Center for a checkup again."
Despite the well-documented effects of chemo and radiation on a young child's developing organs, Blase has absolutely no side effects from the treatment he endured.
I can't say the same about our faith though. The whole period has shaped and molded us, leaving deep and lasting marks on how we see our God. For a period of time we felt so alone and forsaken, and it wasn't until many months later that we realized God's hand was on us the whole time. We don't believe God necessarily causes bad things to happen, but He certainly can make a way to almost forget they were ever there.
Our third pregnancy was entirely unplanned. I love the fact that God sent us the answer and set in place the rescue long before we even knew we had a problem. Trust God, no matter what the circumstances. He knows what you need.CHAPTER 3
Riches in the Rubble
Two hours after the tornado hit, I left my office in Moore and headed south. Crossing the path that the twister had taken as it sliced through the southwest corner of the city, my ten-mile journey home gave me a firsthand view of the absolute devastation and chaos that had been left behind. I saw homes that hadn't just been flattened—they had been destroyed. The storm had eaten up everything in its path.
I stopped for a while in a neighborhood that was home to two foster families with whom I work. As the evening tracked by, I helped them as much as I could. Downed telephone lines, smashed vehicles, dazed people, and tons of debris were spread all over the ground; it took hours to get around and help reunite families with their children. Over the course of the evening, I felt sustained by the knowledge that—thanks to God's grace—I was in the right place at the right time.
I'm a fixer, and I pride myself on being an efficient, capable person. I love to help people in any way I possibly can, so the next day after work, I loaded up my backpack with hamburgers and water and returned to the neighborhood. Although I had gotten a glimpse of the devastation the evening before, I really didn't know what to expect when I encountered people I didn't know. How would I be able to help them?
By the time I arrived, the perimeter of the neighborhood had been barricaded to stop all nonessential vehicles from entering the area. There were so many electrical wires down, so much debris, and cars mangled beyond recognition that it just wasn't safe to have lots of people driving around. So I parked my car and walked through.
The previous day I had been shocked by the state of the houses, but this time it was the state of the people that I found so disturbing. So many faces told the story of the trauma they were enduring, and so many people looked helpless. One man, standing in front of his home, fingers clasped on his head, just stared, tears in his eyes. I offered him food and water. He couldn't speak. He just shook his head and smiled.
Most were like that first man and graciously declined any help. Instead, they continued to try and sift through the piles of rubble they once called home. By the time I reached the end of the street, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I, too, felt helpless. In that moment I realized that on my own, I could do absolutely nothing. But with God I could do anything. For too long I had been relying on my own strengths and abilities to get me through. I had gotten out of the habit of asking God for help. I had started to believe that I could do it on my own.
Standing at the end of the street, a backpack full of unwanted burgers and bottles of water, staring at a scene of devastation that I could do nothing to put right, I cried. I was inadequate, unable to help. So I prayed.
"Lord, I can't do this. It's overwhelming! Please help me go to the people that You want me to serve and help. Guide me, please. I'm desperate!"
I shouldered my backpack and began walking slowly down the street. When I came to the next corner, I threw up a quick prayer. "Lord, should I go down this road?" I didn't really expect a specific answer, but I got one all the same.
No. Not this one. It was almost like the audible voice of a person right next to me. I was thrilled and sensed God's presence with me more than I ever had in my life. I moved on to the next street and repeated my question.
And again, the same response: No. Not this one. A third time and the same thing happened. It was at the fourth street that I finally heard, Yes. This one.
The scene was the same that I had witnessed all along. Piles of timber, earth, and household possessions all blended together on the lots. I talked briefly with a family who then immediately got back to work. Then I walked up to a woman dressed in pink with her hair pulled back and thick work gloves on. She was covered in mud and had obviously been working for hours. I greeted her with my usual, "Ma'am, are you hungry or thirsty? I've got some burgers and water."
"I just ate something," she said. "But thanks so much for asking." She kept eye contact with me, and I sensed this was where God had led me. I asked if she could use an extra set of hands, and she quickly said yes. Was she looking for something specific in this pile of splinters, shards of glass, mud, and a beat-up truck where the living room once was?
"I'm looking for special things," she said. So I pulled on the gloves I had thrown into my backpack at the last second and began looking. I had the impression that she was looking for something in particular, but for some reason wasn't yet willing to tell me what that was. And understandably so; I was a stranger, and this was her home we were sifting through.
An hour and a half went by and almost nothing came up. There was a baby photo of her son, a cake server with a pearl handle, all kinds of special things, but none of them got the reaction that told me we were done. I stopped for a drink of water and threw up another desperate plea to God. Lord, I'm not making a difference! Surely there's more. This woman is obviously looking for something specific, but I don't know what it is. You know what it is, and You know where it is. Could You please help me find it?
I finished my bottle of water, looked around, and noticed a pile of debris that was still untouched. I walked over, moved the splintered door that was lying on top of the pile, then a few clothes that were lying there in the dirt. And then I saw it. I knew instantly that this was what the woman had been looking for: a once-white envelope, now covered in mud, about three-quarters-of-an-inch thick. The flap was folded under, and I could see it contained a lot of cash. I picked it up and instantly saw another behind it. And then another. All in all, there were seven of them, and they must have contained thousands of dollars. Holding them in my hands, my mouth wide-open, I called out to the woman.
Excerpted from It's a God Thing Volume 2 by DON JACOBSON, K-LOVE. Copyright © 2014 Donald C. Jacobson. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Rescued Susie Whitten 1
2 Prisoners of Hope Tami Byrd 4
3 Riches in the Rubble Kellie White 8
4 The Reluctant Passenger Wendy McKelvy 13
5 Sunflowers and Miracles Carolyn Hoeflein 16
6 A Second Chance Steve Nestor 20
7 Miracle Glasses Tammy Neal 26
8 The Siege Maggie Duncan 28
9 He Watches Over Me Cheryl Thompson 33
10 The School Bill Christine Pringle-Shreve 36
11 A Letter to Baby Alex Shannon Edds 38
12 The Voice Jamey Smith 43
13 A Path to Healing Donna Crum 45
14 Faithful Provider 49
15 I Don't Believe in Coincidences Angle Williams 51
16 God Always Wins! Ella Brunt 56
17 A Sale to Remember Pamela Emmett 63
18 A Long Path to Healing Beverly Underbill 66
19 Not Unto Death Margaret Brooks 68
20 A Prayerful Surrender Carrie Hass 72
21 Strength for the Tornado Carolynn Bernard 74
22 A Soldier and a Car Bomb Diane Strobeck 79
23 Divine Appointment M. A. Pasquale 82
24 Falling Toward God Tammy Siligrini 85
25 A Gift of Life Robin Williams 90
26 God's Plan Is Good Pat Stone 92
27 Light at the End of the Tunnel Justin King 95
28 God's Whisper Teresa Lindsay 100
29 Joy Out of Pain Rebecca Backen 102
30 They Met My Need Yvonne Podruchny 108
31 Journey Jan Gibson 110
32 Stuck Jackie Philp 113
33 My Miracle Sandra Huffman 117
34 A Son Restored Janeen Slider 119
35 Saving Chris Diane Marino 122
36 Your Will Above All Kimberly Rivers 124
37 Obeying God Nicole Waltamath 128
38 Responding to the Spirit Suzanne Blomquist 131
39 The Bridge David Riditla 133
40 Miracle on the High Seas Phuong Scbuetz 139
41 A Changed Life Peggy Tippin 143
42 Saved Michaela Sandeno 146
43 All Things New Amanda Bosarge 149
44 The Key Barbara Thompson 153
45 Touched by God Cathy Rueff 156
46 The Wisdom of a Son Diane Belz 159
47 That's What God Can Do Lorie Chaffin 165
48 Family Meals Carey Flares 168
49 Snow Dog Debra J. McDougal Ward 171
50 Healed John Hinkley 174
51 Thank You for Smiling Mary Ann Burris 176
52 Wake Up! Fred Hatfield 178
53 Do You Believe in Divine Intervention? Brandy Gore 181
54 The College Awakening Derek Matthews 185
55 Back from Death Alan Flynt 188
56 Our God Is a Big God Ashley Green 192
57 Esther's Rainbow Michael Holmes 197
58 Restored and Redeemed Samir Aziz 200
About the Writer 207
About the Creators 209