Miracles Part IV: Can You Hear Me Now?
By Dr. Chuck Missler - April 1, 2010
On a Sunday morning in early 2008, Bill Courtemanche knelt at the altar of his church in Hedgesville, WV, frustrated over the suffering around him. The church was still grieving over a 36-year-old wife and mother in the church who had died of cancer. Bill knelt and asked God, "Lord, what is going on? Why do we have all this suffering? Do you even hear our prayers?"
Bill had struggled with alcoholism early in his adulthood, but in 1984 he had rededicated his life to the Lord and had been sober ever since. He believed that his faith had grown strong over the years, but now he was struggling with what seemed like God's lack of action in the middle of great need. Things kept going wrong, and it seemed as though God had gone silent.
The fact was that Bill couldn't hear very well anyway. In 1992, Bill had worked as an undercover drug task force officer. One night during a drug raid, a gun went off near his ear, and the concussion of the shot permanently damaged his hearing. His left ear became completely deaf, and he lost 40 percent of the hearing in his right ear. For the next 17 years, Bill lived in a world of muffled noises. He learned to lip read, but he told us his deafness, "really irritated my wife. She kept bugging me to get a hearing aid." Still, he grew used to living with a lot of silence.
That day in 2008, as Bill knelt at the altar pouring out his heart before God, he suddenly felt a terrible burning in his ears. "I felt like my head was on fire, like it was about to explode. My ears were burning up, and I felt really ill. So, I went home after church and lay down." He slept that afternoon, and when he woke up he felt much better. The burning and nausea were gone. Then he noticed something strange. After 17 years, he was able to hear out of both his ears. "It was bizarre," he said. "I would hear things. I went to an audiologist, and he said, there's nothing wrong with your ears.'"
Bill grinned, "I always justified it as God's saying, 'Can you hear Me now?' "
That was just the first miracle.
On a Thursday night, Bill got a call that his mother had been found dead on her bathroom floor. The paramedics had arrived and worked on her and decided to take her to Uniontown Hospital, where her heart stopped beating again. At that point they put Bill's mother on life support.
"She was an elderly person who had just had a heart attack and was dead. I don't know why they put her on life support. They life-flighted her to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which was a screw up because they aren't supposed to transport people on life support."
Even though his mother was technically brain dead, Bill spent the whole evening sitting beside her, praying for her and reading to her, "and doing the things you do when you don't know what to do." He went down to the chapel the next morning, and a chaplain came in. The chaplain approached Bill, who explained the dilemma he felt he was in. He did not want to remove the life support and let his mother die, but she was only "alive" because she was hooked to machines. "I was troubled," Bill said, "His answer to me was that life support machines are man-made and only God can terminate a life. If she was meant to go Home, she'd die, and if she wasn't, she wouldn't." So, they set a time on Saturday to remove the life support, and Bill's brothers and sisters went in to say goodbye.
About 11:30 on Saturday morning, Bill entered the hospital room in order to have the machines removed. He told us:
"I was told to kiss her on the head and kiss her goodbye. When I did, she woke up! It freaked everybody out. The doctor there said he'd been up there for 15 years as the head of the cardiology unit. He said literally, 'It's a miracle, she's supposed to be dead.' The funny part of it was, I was talking to her that afternoon and she told me, 'You know the most annoying thing? You know how hard it is to sleep when somebody sits there all night reading to you?' Here's a woman who has no brain activity hearing everything that I'm reading to her. She was out of the hospital two weeks later."
The Apostle Paul described the curious mixture of struggle and victory in the Christian life when he said, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed," (2Cor 4:8-9). We may feel sometimes that God has abandoned us, but He has said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5). God loves us so deeply, so truly, so completely, that He gave His Son to die for us. He would not pay that great price just to drop us. As we celebrate Passover Week and Resurrection Sunday, may we thank our Savior in the truest way possible. May we believe Him when He says He loves us and trust Him enough to put our lives fully in His hands. Perhaps when we get there, we'll find we're better able to hear Him after all.
Copyright © Koinonia House Inc., Reprinted with permission.
Dr. Chuck Missler is the founder of Koinonia House ministries, or K-House as it is affectionately called. K-House is dedicated to the development and distribution of materials for encouraging and facilitating serious study of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. K-House reaches tens of thousands through its monthly newsletter, radio shows, cassette tapes, and conferences. More than eight million study tapes have been distributed in the U.S. and in over 35 countries around the world.