As he felt his son Matthew moving within his wife, Michael had an incredible urge to come back to God. Michael shares, “I prayed, ‘God, please reveal Yourself to me.’ A couple months later, Paula and I went forward to receive Christ at Calvary with Matthew beside us in his carrier, but for the next two years, my faith didn’t really mature. I was more of a ‘closet’ Christian.”
On May 16, 1996, Michael watched as an ambulance rushed his toddler’s lifeless form to the hospital. Michael remembers, “During those first days after Matthew’s near-drowning, doctors offered us little hope. By the time Paula realized his tricycle had gone into the pool, Matthew’s brain had been without oxygen for so long, even if he survived, the doctors expected him to be brain dead.”
Michael continues, “Matthew’s recovery over the last sixteen years has been a series of miracles, but I prayed every day for God to heal Matthew completely. It wasn’t until I signed up for the Ravi Zacharias School of Apologetics (RZSA) that I realized how angry I was at God. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust God and not to lean on our own understanding. I trusted God that He could heal Matthew, but when He didn’t, I didn’t trust what He was doing.”
RZSA taught Michael God was big enough to handle his questions about pain and suffering. He shares, “The RZSA courses are so focused on your relationship with Christ and your ability to communicate with others about who God is that they opened the floodgates for me. Now I have a greater appreciation for who God is and what Jesus has done in my life. For me, RZSA has been as essential to my spiritual growth as Christianity 101.”
Today, Matthew is 18 with an intellect on par with his peers. His impaired motor and speech skills mean he needs a computer device to communicate, but when Michael teaches on evil, pain, and suffering, Matthew is right beside him. Michael shares, “Matthew got saved when he was seven and he is an outspoken evangelist. He knows God is awesomely good, but he is not afraid to ask the questions RZSA addresses, ‘Why me?’ and ‘Why this?’”
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