Good As Dead

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In July 2015, I accomplished the awe-inspiring feat of breaking both wrists at the same time while attempting to complete a backflip on a trampoline–all in the hope of impressing a girl, of course. Unfortunately for me, I did not successfully complete said backflip, nor did I win over the girl. But I did find myself in physical therapy for a few months.

Fast forward to October 28th. I was at Excel Therapy in downtown Tulsa to receive treatment for my wrists. After completing my exercises, I said goodbye to my therapists, got in my car, and headed home. That is the last thing I can recall before my life turned upside down.  

Mom left Tulsa three hours earlier for Starkville, Mississippi, to watch my sister, a starting defensive back on the Mississippi State soccer team, play against Auburn University. At 6p, she and Dad were on the phone, asking each other if they had heard anything from me. “Oh, he’s calling me now!” Mom picked up–but it wasn’t me. It was an ICU doctor at Saint Francis Hospital on the other end of my phone. The call no parent wants to receive. “This is Dr. Boedecker, the trauma neurosurgeon at St Francis. Your son came in as a John Doe after a car accident. He is in a coma and on a ventilator.” Mom immediately called my dad back, turned the car around, and made the three-hour drive back home. Dad was the first one to arrive. He walked into the room and saw his son lying in the hospital bed, comatose, lifeless, as good as dead.


I was in a coma for the next three weeks, and doctors did everything possible to extend my life a day, even an hour, longer. After my vital signs were finally considered stable, I was transported to Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, an in-patient rehab hospital in downtown Dallas. I spent the next month re-learning how to walk, talk, and do the most basic things. Once the groundwork had been laid, I was transferred to the Center for Neuro Skills in Irving, where I went through more intense, detailed therapy. 

Amazingly, I’m here to tell you about it today.

Not by my hard work.  

Not by the amazing medical professionals.  

Not by my own righteousness, goodness, or worthiness to be saved. 

But only by the astonishing grace of God alone. 

At this point in my life, however, I was lost. I didn’t recognize this unmerited favor the Lord had shown me. I had the audacity to think that He saved me so that I could do what I wanted with my life, namely, to play baseball.   

Just as I couldn’t recognize God’s grace in saving me from my accident, I think we also fail to recognize His grace in our daily lives as well. Unfortunately, God’s generosity towards us doesn’t always result in our thanksgiving towards Him. We forget the gifts God has given to us through His grace, and most of all, the gift that is Jesus Christ. It’s as though we’ve grown numb to the reality that God sent His one and only Son to give eternal life to anyone who believes in Him. That’s the true miracle here! God saving my physical life doesn’t even hold a candle to the miracle of eternal salvation He offers all of us. You see, you and I were each comatose, lifeless, and good as dead before Jesus by His grace breathed His spirit into us and made us alive in Him.

Now that is grace. That’s a second chance. Let’s not waste it.

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:1-5 

 

By Lance Smith. Lance is preparing to begin his senior year at Baylor University and plans to graduate with a degree in corporate communications Fall 2021. He spent this past summer working as a resident at Harris Creek.

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