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Don't Pray Away – Praying Away Versus Praying Through

Tiller Family Ministries 

I began to interrogate God. “Why, God? Why do little boys fall from windows?”

Why did my little boy fall from that window? Why him?

Why me?

I looked to Scripture for an answer, and it turns out that “Why, God?” is not a new question at all.

These are the questions that John, father of Eli, was asking himself just after the terrible accident his 3-year-old son had suffered, while he was playing alone in his bedroom. After some time spent in ICU, Eli survived but with serious brain damage. Despite their prayers for complete recovery, John and his wife, Tricia, did not see the slightest improvement in their son's physical condition. However, they noticed that their son had rather developed certain aptitudes which surprised all those who met him.

In his book, “Draw the Circle – The 40 Day Prayer Challenge”, Mark Batterson testifies that, at age 12, Eli Tiller had as sweet a spirit and as courageous an attitude as anybody he had ever met. Mark recalls that Eli sang once at their church, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. The conclusion is clear, and the lesson is simple to understand: the purpose of prayer is not always to get us out of circumstances, but sometimes the purpose of prayer is to get us through them. One the benefits of the burden of accepting to get through our circumstances, instead of getting away, is that we learn the lessons God is trying to teach us or cultivate the character He is trying to instil in us.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. (John 9:1-3)

Eli Tiller was born perfectly healthy. On January 9, 2003, at three-years-old, Eli pushed out the protective screen of his second story playroom window at his home in Powhatan, Virginia. He fell 13 feet head-first to the asphalt driveway below crushing his skull. His mother discovered him moments later unconscious, bleeding and barely breathing. He was med-flighted to the hospital where he remained comatose for three weeks while doctors could not tell his parents if he would survive. After 12 weeks of inpatient treatment and many years of outpatient and intensive home-based therapy, Eli is still recovering. He has been challenged with re-learning every basic human function from speech to mobility.

Today, Eli is not like other kids his age. His brain processing and physical ability are limited. However when he walks with his bright-blue cane and a smile, he lights up the room!

Now John and Tricia Tiller are speaking and writing to share the lessons they have learned through this unthinkable tragedy. They are also sharing Eli, an authentic example of how God brings new life and purpose! (Source: Tiller Family Ministries Facebook)

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