Del’s Testimony

I was born and raised in a Christian family. My mother prayed with me for salvation when I was seven. I never strayed far away, never rebelled, never went the prodigal route. Pretty much went to Sunday School, read my Bible, stayed on the straight and narrow.

There was a time I thought my testimony was boring. The Surgeon General should issue a warning: “Caution: listening to Del’s testimony may cause extreme drowsiness.” I would read of guys like Nicky Cruz who were saved from a life of gangs and violence in New York City. “Maybe I should do something to spice up my testimony,” I thought. Go steal a couple of hubcaps, shoplift a pack of gum – then I could tell everyone how my life was headed down a path of crime and lawlessness before I was arrested by Christ. But no. I just kept serving the Lord.

But one day it hit me. I had a great testimony! I had not been saved out of sin but God saved me from going into it. I had not been delivered out of crime and drugs. God spared me from going into them. No one would write a book about my story. I would not get invited onto the talk shows. But my salvation was a miracle nonetheless. I can testify of God’s strength that helps me live victoriously. Of his patience and forgiveness for the times I am slow to catch on. And when I stub my toe and take a fall, I can tell how He has been there to reach out and help me back to my feet. For all he has done for me, I will forever be thankful.

But there is another part of my story that has gotten me invited onto a few talk shows. It is a story of a miracle that happened in my life when I was a child of seventeen months. There is a small scar beneath my lip – hardly noticeable – it is the only visible reminder of an accident that should have claimed my life. If it were not for the power of prayer I would not be sharing this story with you.

We lived in the Bitterroot Valley just south of Missoula, Montana. My father had an apple orchard and the year 1950 was difficult. Dad would load bushels of apples into the pickup and drive from town to town but there were few buyers, and more than once, he was forced to dump them on the side of the road. With a wife and four young children in his care he took a job pumping gas in the nearby town of Hamilton.

Occasionally after work, the boss would pay him an extra dollar or two to deliver fuel to nearby farms for their machinery. If it was along the way, Dad would swing by our home and take us kids with him, then he would keep the truck overnight. As a small child, there was nothing I enjoyed more than riding in the gas truck with my Dad.

One morning as he was leaving for work, I decided to go along, so I climbed out of my crib and ran across the yard as he was backing down the driveway. The bumper of the truck knocked me to the ground and the dual tires ran up the full length of my body and across my head.

My five year old sister saw it from the porch and began screaming, “Daddy ran over baby! Daddy ran over baby!” Over the sounds of the engine, he thought she said he ran over the doggy. How could he face the children and tell them he had killed their little puppy? He got out and went around the truck where, to his horror, he found me lying face down in a pool of blood.

My mother said it was a terrible sight. Blood was coming from my ears, my nose, my mouth. One eye was protruding from its socket. Dirt and gravel were ground into my face. My parents carried me to the house and began to cry out to God to spare their baby’s life. As they prayed, I began to whimper and they were filled with hope just knowing I was alive.

My dad remembers the first thought that came to mind as he heard me cry. “He who has begun a good work in you…” Dad believed God had already begun a good work by sparing my life. Little did he know what was to follow!

At the hospital, our family physician, Dr. Peterson, cut my clothing off, and there on my back were the imprints of the tire treads. X-rays showed my skull was fractured in four places. Several ribs were torn loose from one side of my spine. There were internal injuries, indicated by blood passing from my urinary tract.

Dr. Peterson said it would be futile to attempt surgery. Chances of surviving an operation were negligible and if I did, I would be at high risk for pneumonia. With severe head trauma there was the probability of permanent mental impairment. I was placed in an oxygen tent and my parents were told nothing more could be done.

As much as I respect the hard work and dedication of medical professionals, I take comfort knowing that when they have done all they can do, there is still hope. As long as there is prayer, there is hope. My parents held on to that hope. They were certain something good would come of this tragedy.

I clung to life throughout the day and by the next day there were signs of encouragement. I was awake and alert – apparently there was no brain damage. But on the third day, I began to scream in pain and dig my fingers into my head. A strong sedative brought little relief and throughout the evening I continued to cry out in pain. It was then that my parents did what it speaks of in the Epistle of James. The pastor and elders were called to my bedside and anointed me with oil. James says the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up. God heard those prayers and in a moment, I fell asleep and slept peacefully through the night.

A week passed and to everyone’s amazement, I was very active. The ribs were mending unusually fast. My mother seldom left my side but once, when she stepped out to refresh herself, I reached over to the bedside table and grabbed a magazine. When she returned, I was sitting up, tearing pages from the magazine. How could this be possible with such injuries?! She quickly put me back down but each time she turned her back, I would sit up again. Dr. Peterson was so amazed that he reexamined the x-rays. No one could be this active with broken ribs. But the x-rays did not lie. God was doing an amazing miracle in answer to prayer! Within two weeks, I was home from the hospital. My parents were given orders to keep me in bed two more weeks but I kept wanting to get up and play. Finally, my father told my mother, “God has done a miracle, so why should we keep Del in bed. Let him get out and play!” Within a month, there was no sign anything had ever happened except for the small scar beneath my lip! But the story doesn’t end quite yet.

After graduating from college, I took a trip to Western Montana to retrace my roots and see the places I had heard so much about. Ironically, while in Hamilton, I came down with a cold so I stopped at a medical clinic to see if I could get some cough syrup. Who should be the attending physician but Dr. Peterson! “Was it really as bad as they have told me?” I asked. “Yes,” he said. “It really was.” He went on to tell me he was not a religious man but what he witnessed in the days following the accident had only two possible explanations. “Either it was a one in a million chance encounter with good luck or it was divine intervention.” I told him I had never played the lottery because I don’t believe in one in a million chances, but I do believe in the power of prayer.

This morning while shaving, I saw the little scar beneath my lip. It reminded me of the miracle God did so many years ago but more importantly, it reminded me that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. The miracles he performed two thousand years ago, he is still doing today! And for that, I will always be thankful.

26 responses to “Del’s Testimony

  1. That is an AWESOME testimony. Praise God I’m truly amazed!

  2. Like Diana says this is AWESOME. It is a great encouragement for those who have trusted in God since childhood. Thank you for sharing your testimony.

  3. Your story is so beautiful and encouraging.

    I’ve read a few of your posts. Your writing is WONDERFUL! Such wisdom and insight. I’ve been so blessed this morning. I don’t think it was an accident that I ran across your blog.

  4. Thank you, Angie. You made my day!

    Del

  5. Del, I am blown away. I would love to link to you from the underground cross. I’m getting a lot of prayer requests right now, and your post today was obviously timed by God.

    Thank you for your witness of Christ to a dying world…

  6. Link away, Dude! I can use all the help I can get. And, hey, I stopped by your blog. You’re tackling some tough issues. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    Del

  7. Hi Del,

    I just stumbled on your blog (well, not really, it was “one of the best blogs”) anyway, I could relate to your story about wanting an “exciting testimony” only in reverse. After my husband and I got saved, we started socializing with other Christian couples. The question always came up, “how did you two meet?” Usually, our story was not as pretty as theirs…we met at a punk rock party in the ’80’s where they were shaving people’s heads for 50 cents! How to clean that up for the christian couples?

    We finally decided that our story was unique…as unique as we are and our relationship is, with each other and with Christ…hallelujah! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    I like your testimony, too…unique and a blessing. God rescues us all and praise God, we all end up in the same place.

    HealthyMom

  8. That is definitely a first!

  9. I am very blessed by reading your testimony. From experience I know the power of a praying mother. You, was blessed to have both of your parents praying.

  10. What a testimony! Thanks for sharing it with the world!

  11. What an amazing answer to the power of prayer! Your story encouraged my heart this am. I also became a christian when very young and I am so thankful.

  12. What a wonderful answer to prayer. I have been to several funerals, where a child has been run over, usually by the father. As the mother of nine children, and grandmother to 33, I have this life long rule, after watching my brother at age four get run over by a farm truck and lived. (Elliston, Montana).. My rule…NEVER go to the car until the driver gets out and NEVER get out of the car, till the driver gets out. My children say, “Rememaber Grandma’s Rule?”
    Kay Kalidja

  13. I stumbled across your website doing a google search and was truly blessed to read some of your devotionals. You are a gifted writer. I really enjoy your style. Keep writing for the glory of our LORD. I am adding your site to my list of Favorites. By the way, I am also a writer.

  14. That is AWESOME! I’m so glad you’re here to tell about it. God is amazing and so so so good!

  15. Amazing & Overwhelming… moved to tears.

    What a blessing your testimony is… powerful, your parents stood firmly in faith on Romans 28-39.

    Nicky Cruz’s testimony reaches one group of the body of Christ as you reach another. Romans 12:3-6

    Your devotions reflect
    Colossians 2:3
    The Living Bible

    In his loving hands,
    Millie

  16. Hi Del,

    I read your testimony tonite and now I remember that members of the family told me about the accident when you were young. I remember being abit skeptical about the miracle, but now that I’ve read it first hand……. WOW!!! Hope you and yours are well – say hi to your Dad the next time you talk to him!

    sincerely

    Colleen

  17. Wow!

    And I mean WOW!

    Praise God!!!

    Wow..

  18. Dad,
    I was exploring your website and when I read this page I just started to cry. Every time I pray I thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful father. Thank you for sharing your story…it has touched me all throughout my life and I know that it will continue to bless others. I love you daddy!
    -Becca

  19. What a beautiful story. God is so good. I am so glad I found your site. Please blog some more…I don’t see any recent posts.

  20. Jacqueline Sinipete

    Your testimony will become a blessing to other young people and parents coping up with the same difficulty nowadays. My fiance right now has the same testimony as yours in which the power of prayer became the source of his wellness from his leg and jaw fracture at a young age too when he fell from a high coconut tree, with her mom constantly praying for him for almost 3 weeks. Amazingly, all physicians witnessed a great miracle as he wasn’t able to undergo operations anymore, he was healed by GOD. Praise to the Lord Jesus Christ who is our great healer. Truly, nothing is impossible to our GOD Almighty! He’s worthy to be praised, honored and glorified.

  21. How can you give God credit for saving you at 17 months and not blame Him for letting other babies die? Why not give credit to the medical team that saved you from a horrible accident, instead of the God who let you be crushed by a car in the first place? (To be fair, I don’t think He let you be crushed; neither do I think he saved you. I think you got lucky.)

    How can you honestly think the creator of time and space reached down to heal you, yet ignored another child being kidnapped, raped, and murdered? Isn’t that an incredibly self-centered thing to believe? Isn’t it more sensible to realize that God didn’t save you, and doesn’t save others; people are just lucky or unlucky?

  22. Del,
    Thanks for your wonderful testimony. I hope God continues to bless and care for you.

    LINDA

  23. Del,

    This is very encouraging! Thank you for sharing!!

    btw, with my friends, we are establishing a Christian Fellowship group, could we use the Mustard Seed picture from your blog? Thanks for your consideration in advance.

    christine

  24. xdvdsfvd fdgsd
    fdsaiuwa dfgdsgfs

  25. Del Gibbs,

    Awesome stuff! May God Bless you and help you see even more amazing things!

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