Bike accident injury healed

While I was riding my bike across town one morning, my pant leg got caught on the chainring, and I was thrown down hard onto the street. I was able to get up and pull my bike to the sidewalk, but any movement of my arm at the elbow joint caused tremendous pain. 

I was in a hurry, as I was preparing to catch a flight to a friend’s wedding, so I rode home, but found I couldn’t easily change my clothes or pack my suitcase. I was supposed to be a groomsman in the wedding, and I didn’t know if I’d be capable of doing the job. I poured out my heart to God for comfort and guidance. My prayers led me to stick with the plan to get to my flight, trusting that God would have an answer each step of the way. I called my uncle to help me get ready and to drive me to the airport.

On the plane, I sat still and prayed quietly, grateful for the reprieve from physical movement. Prayer for me is about allowing God to become larger than anything else in my thinking. I get myself back to the big picture, remembering that to love and honor God is really the only important thing to do. As Jesus prayed, “This is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth” (John 17:3, New Living Translation).

I’ve learned about prayer from the Bible’s numerous examples of those who faithfully prayed and experienced God’s life-giving presence; and those examples have been brought to life in a profound way through my study of the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, which I was reading that day on the plane.

One statement from Science and Health that stood out to me was, “If our petitions are sincere, we labor for what we ask; . . .” (p. 13). This meant to me that my prayer should extend beyond just asking God for help to wholeheartedly striving to know God better and understand His will for me and everyone. I realized that I was being asked to give myself over to the most important, holy labor, and my attitude became one of eagerness to conform to God’s requirements and to strive to be a “doer” of His Word (see James 1:23–25).

Another helpful and healing idea was to be “absent from the body.” This is a reference to the words of Paul the Apostle, who said that we must be “willing . . . to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8). 

Innumerable thoughts about my body and circumstances were running through my head, driven by fear and uncertainty. I decided that I’d need to turn from those thoughts and stay in the now with God, divine Love. So I did my best to constantly redirect my thinking away from preoccupation with what might happen and back to the present moment, keeping things simple and just cherishing God’s present care for all creation. It took discipline, but it was calming and comforting.

I quickly found that praying in this way was bringing me such peace and a feeling of closeness to God. I remember at one point actually wondering if I’d ever get down to praying about my problem! But, as a matter of fact, my arm was feeling better and better. I was regaining mobility, and the pain was lessening. I realized that by keeping my thoughts occupied with the present reality of God’s supremacy, I was actually addressing the problem head on.

Another thing is that my friend, the groom, had previously asked if I would support the wedding by praying for the logistics as well as the safe travel of the guests to and from the venue. I willingly agreed, and this actually helped me tremendously, as it gave me something unselfish to focus on. It prevented me from retreating into discouragement and self-pity when I felt I wasn’t making progress as quickly as I’d like. 

Over the course of about three days at the wedding venue, I was able to participate in the festivities with steadily increasing comfort and ability. During this time, I had the support of my friends, including one who is a Christian Science nurse and who helped me get settled when I first arrived. I spent the mornings in my hotel room praying, and studying the Bible and Science and Health, but during the second half of each day I would venture out with the group.

On the third evening, I was happily in my place as a groomsman for the marriage ceremony. I was also shaking hands, giving hugs, and goofing around with everyone, feeling almost entirely myself again. By the end of the trip, four days after the accident, I was back in the airport, comfortably using the arm that had been injured to carry my large duffel bag.

This took place about nine years ago, and I’ve used that arm with complete freedom and painlessness ever since. And I’ve continued to find that prayer centered on God and God’s will is both deeply transformative, and effective in helping me to stay healthy and be a better follower of Christ.

A. J. Kiser
Napa, California, US

Testimony of Healing
Prayer leads to fulfilling job
December 27, 2021

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