In the world of professional football in the UK, the town of Bolton is well known. And the team there is called Bolton Wanderers, a famous football club, known by sports fans throughout the world.
One name that became world news during a game in March 2012 is Fabrice Muamba. 36,000 fans were watching the FA Cup quarter final with a worldwide TV audience. They were playing Tottenham Hotspur. Suddenly Fabrice collapsed and fell straight onto the ground. He had gone into sudden cardiac arrest which is a serious and life-threatening condition.
It is rare, but does happen regardless of a person’s age.
Fabrice was only 24 when this incident happened. The crowd at first didn’t realize the seriousness of what had happened, but soon it was evident. Fans were upset and stunned, and some started praying. Paramedics struggled to save his life. A heart cardiologist was in the crowd that day, and ran down to the pitch and intervened, and saved this footballer’s life. His heart stopped beating for 78 minutes. Remarkable, 36 hours later he regained consciousness in hospital and eventually recovered after 4 weeks. It was a sensational news story at the time. He suffered no brain damage and was forced to retire from professional football.
Many professionals spoke of this miracle, and the young man, a committed Christian himself, said “I’m walking proof of the power of prayer. Someone up there was watching over me. On the morning of the game I prayed with my father and asked God to protect me. He didn’t let me down. It was pure chance that Dr Deaner was in the crowd that day. I owe him everything. He is the reason I have been able to hold my baby son again and continue my life. I would not be alive today if he had not been at the game”. I am confident here is a miracle.
Fabrice Muamba’s full recovery is a miracle – a resurrection after 78 minutes of physical death. Atheists may say this was just co-incidence – that the doctor was there and applied his medical knowledge. Did modern science alone save him? Surely when Dr Andrew Deaner ran onto the ground and used his skill to save a life, he was God’s agent for that moment? Yes, I believe so. It was special providence. God over ruled and saved this young man’s life in a remarkable way.
Do you believe in divine intervention? It’s an event when God intervenes in the ordinary events of everyday life. Ask Greg Candelaria, who lives in Houston who works for IBM and constantly travels the world. His hectic schedule had him booked on the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, 7 March 2014. At the last minute he cancelled his booking. He says this was divine intervention. He said “I’m getting too old for this” and flew home. “Some would call this luck,” he said. “I would absolutely consider it 100 percent the grace of God.”
It is good to remember Isaiah 55:8 which states, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. The plans and purposes of God are far above those of people, and He can do whatever He wants, including intervening in my life and yours. I can’t pretend to understand this topic, but I do know people who have had divine experiences with God, in remarkable ways. When we stop and think, God is moving in our world all the time, in my life and yours. We don’t have to wait for the dramatical events – He is intervening all the time with His love and goodness. All we have to do is look around and pray. He is with us now.