By Shaun N.
When I was 17 I learned through my own experiences that God is always there and that he loves us. At that point in my life I was a star basketball player on one of the best teams in the state. I was popular. I didn’t need any help. I didn’t need to rely on anyone, not even the Lord. I felt like I was on top of the world. Yet, I felt that there was something missing within my life. I had no clue what it was. I was unsure if God even knew who I was. I did not even feel like I knew who he was either.
I was hired with my brother and a friend to help a rancher move some hay into his barn. Inside the barn we had to stack the hay about 20 feet high. It was my job to get on top of that stack of hay and make sure that it was stacked properly so that it would not fall over later. Well in short, I messed up. I left a 6” gap between two of the bales of hay. It was covered up by some of the loose hay and I did not see it. As I was walking along the edge of the stack my foot went into this 6” gap and and I tripped over the edge and fell 20 feet. I landed on my left side on the edge of the trailer. I have never experienced pain like that before. It was unbearable!
The doctors told me that I had ruptured my spleen and that I was losing blood at a fast rate. After they had performed the surgery that literally saved my life, the doctor came into to talk to me. He said that I had lost over two liters of blood and that I should have bled out and died before I even got to the hospital. That was an eye opener for me. I should have died!
Two weeks later I was still in a ton of pain. My physical abilities were very limited and I was feeling all alone. I felt that God had let this happen to me. I began to get angry because I thought it had ruined my basketball career. My mom saw me suffering in my frustration. She told me a few things that have stuck with me since then.
She said, “God loves you. It is because of his love for you that he let you live. He has something special for you to do here in this life.”
After our conversation I was left to myself to ponder what she had said to me. I kept thinking to myself, “Is it true that God loves me? Did he really let me live?” Thankfully, I had been taught by my loving parents how to pray. But up to this point in my life I had never really prayed sincerely nor earnestly. A thought ran through my mind. I needed to pray and find out for myself if God loves me.
I was too weak from my accident to even sit up on my own. I laid on the couch and prayed. This was the most sincere prayer that I have ever offered. It was a simple prayer. As I began to pray I felt this peace and warmth come over my entire being. It filled my soul with joy. It was the feeling that I had been longing for. I knew right then that God does indeed love me and knows who I am.
Knowing that God loves me has brought me true happiness. I know that because he loves me, he is always watching over me! He wants what is best for me! I’m so thankful for that life-threatening trial. Through it I was able to find out my true relationship with God and draw closer to Him.