They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the one shown above is truly priceless.
Chris Norton may not be someone whom you have ever heard of before, but his story is one that is truly inspirational, dramatically showing the power of prayer, trust, and faith in God in the midst of huge obstacles. At 18 years of age, Norton played college football as a freshman for Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. On a routine tackle in a game against Central College, he ended up on the losing end of a huge hit, face down on the ground. While everyone else got back up, he did not.
As the story began to unfold and the extent of his injuries became known, they discovered he had fractured his neck and that his spinal cord was compressed, making him unable to move anything from the neck down. Things weren’t looking good as the doctors said there was only a 3% chance Chris would ever regain movement below the neck. The night of his injury he had a three hour surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, which went very well. Listen to Norton’s incredible journey from his own mouth, a young man from Luther College (my alma mater, “Go Norse!”) who, through God’s incredible power and grace, continues to defy the odds to stand as well as taking steps toward walking (God-willing):
In seeing a story such as Norton’s, there is no question as to where the power for this miracle came from … God Himself. Norton’s family has said in response to the accident and subsequent healing process, “Through God all things are possible!” Norton’s boldness, tenacity, and zeal for life is contagious! In a recent journal entry the family writes: “The story is not about our family or Chris. Chris gets irritated when we talk about the ‘facts’ of the story, because that is not the story. The story is not about the injury, but about faith, determination, family, and friends.”
Is there a place in your life where God might be calling you to “stand up?” Too often we become comfortably numb in our ruts and unhealthy behaviors while God may be tapping us on the shoulder to lead us toward a different or new path altogether. Let us throw off the things hindering us so we can press on toward the goal God has established for us to accomplish from the beginning of time. The game has begun, my friend. As Timothy Keller once remarked, “The church is often like a football stadium where 22 people need a rest and thousands of people need exercise.” The time has come for us to step up off our bench to get in the game, “Because at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, there’s only one thing you can do for what you believe in … stand up!”
Standing up for Jesus!