Did God's Voice Help Save Her Son's Life?

Her son miraculously survived a truck accident, after doing what he said God asked him to do.

Posted in , Feb 25, 2021

The Ongstad family; photo courtesy Rhae Ann Ongstad

Three-year-old Jonah was all tucked in, ready for a bedtime story. Tonight’s, I decided, would come from the Bible. I told Jonah about Samuel, a little boy like himself, who lived in the temple with the priest Eli. One night after Eli lay down to sleep, Samuel heard someone call his name. He ran over to Eli and said, “Here I am!”

“But it wasn’t Eli who had called Samuel’s name,” I explained to Jonah. “It was the Lord.”

When the story was over, we spoke about Samuel, and how God speaks even to little boys. I thought it might be fun to talk about what God’s voice might sound like. I asked Jonah, “Have you ever heard the voice of God?”

“Yes,” he said, without hesitation. “The day I got run over by the truck!”

I was stunned. Of course, I remembered the day he was talking about. I would never forget it. It was only a few months earlier. It seemed like only yesterday that the doctor had finally removed the cast from Jonah’s leg.

My husband, Wade, had driven his truck to work that day. I was at home doing the dishes when I heard Wade pull into the driveway. Usually he backed the truck in, but today he drove in straight. He jumped out and ran into the house to grab a tool he’d forgotten. “See you tonight,” he said, kissing me goodbye.

I returned to doing the dishes. Wade backed out, the tires crunching over the crushed shells in the driveway. Then I heard a terrible scream. Wade? I thought. He ran back into the house, carrying Jonah in his arms. When had Jonah gotten outside? A black tire mark showed on one of his legs.

“I was backing out of the driveway,” Wade said. “I turned out into the street and looked back. Jonah was curled up on the ground. I ran over him!”

Wade laid Jonah on the couch. I called 911. Soon the house was full of paramedics, firemen and police. An EMT gently prodded Jonah. Wade and I held our breath and prayed.

Finally, the EMT looked up at us. “He’s going to be fine,” he said.

We almost collapsed with relief. Thank you, God! I thought.

We took him to the hospital for a full examination. He had a small fracture above his knee and would have to wear a cast for six weeks, but he had sustained no internal injuries. “Wherever he was, I never saw him at all from behind the wheel,” Wade told me shakily after we got home. “He must have run up beside me as I went out. The police think the truck just bumped him.”

Jonah had been through so much that we didn’t want to upset him with a lot of questions. At three years old, he probably couldn’t really tell us what happened exactly anyway. But as I was putting him to bed that first night with his leg in a cast, he asked me, “Mommy, why does Daddy have a tire under his truck?”

“That’s a spare tire,” I started to explain. “In case Dad…” I trailed off, realizing what Jonah’s question meant. He had never seen the tire before, because it could only be seen from underneath the truck. Jonah had been run over. He had just avoided being crushed by any of the tires.

“If he’d been just a few inches further down the driveway,” Wade said when I told him. “I would have run over him when I turned onto the street.”

Neither of us could bear to think of what could have happened. But at church the following weekend—Easter Sunday service—we felt as if we had our own miracle to celebrate, and left it at that. We accepted that we may never know exactly what had happened. But now, after the bedtime story about young Samuel, Jonah was filling me in on the mystery.

“God spoke to you that day?” I said.

“I was trying to climb up on the back of Daddy’s truck,” he said. “Like a garbage man. The truck started moving and I fell off,” he said. “But I held on to the bumper.”

I could easily picture it. Jonah gripping the back bumper, his arms outstretched as the truck rolled in reverse, pulling him headfirst and dragging him on his back down the driveway, his body all but hidden beneath the truck. There was no way that Wade could have seen him as he backed out. Jonah...

“That’s when I heard God,” Jonah said, matter-of-factly. “He said, ‘Let go!’ So I let go.”

He let go just in time to stay safe between those big wheels, and to watch the spare tire pass over his head but be out of harm’s way when those big wheels turned.

What an unexpected ending to tonight’s bedtime story. God had spoken to Jonah as clearly as he spoke to Samuel. Or maybe little boys just know how to listen.

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