The alarm had been triggered by a faulty detector. I kept looking up to identify the faulty head and then disaster struck! I missed my footing on one of the 2-step stairs on the bottom deck. I twisted my right ankle as a result and fell down flat with my face greeting the grating. I lay on the grating for about a minute before I could manage to stand up and when I did, I could only limp with the left leg while dragging the other. I then sat down for a while trying to gather the strength needed to get myself to the Engine Control Room. At this point, I was not only in pain but in a dilemma. I have a decision to make; to report myself to the Ship’s Medical Officer and get some first aid treatment and then go to see a doctor ashore or apply some self-treatment and hope the pain goes away with time. With the first choice come investigation and report writing with causes and learning of the accident to be given a fleet-wide circulation. I imagined someone telling me ‘you should have or you shouldn’t have done that’. I wasn’t prepared to do that especially as a first trip 4th Engineer who is new on the job and rank. I had to stick to the last choice of self-treatment which wasn’t the best as the situation could deteriorate. Obviously, I had no idea what I was into.
I reported back to the 2nd Engineer on the status of the fire alarm. The engine room went on UMS and I managed to get to my cabin. I applied all the personal treatment that I know and have. I slept off only to wake up with increased pain and a well-swollen ankle. My leg couldn’t fit into my sandal again except I lose its straps to it maximum limit. Subsequently, I started shivering so I wrapped myself in my duvet. As I slept, I got drenched in my own sweat as my body temperature increased. I removed the duvet and started feeling cold again and then put it back on and sweating continues and the cycle goes on.
At about 10pm, another fire alarm was activated. I mustered with other engineers in the ECR only to find out it was another false alarm. So, I went back to my room upon dismissal. By this time, the leg was too swollen to be conveniently placed in the safety boot. I had to lose the lace fully without wearing socks in order to wear the boot. And of course the pain was more severe. I began thinking about the severity of what might have happened to my leg. I contemplated reporting myself to the Medical (Chief) Officer but then I thought: ‘what if he blamed me for not reporting early or trying to cover up an injury’ in addition to the earlier thoughts of fault-findings and fleet-wide promulgation. Again, I decided to endure but then I decided to pray about it and trust the Lord for the miraculous.
I had been held captive by my own choice and the miraculous was the only choice that I had that can save me of pain and shame. So without reservation in my heart, I told the Lord ‘I trust you to heal me before 7:45am when work resumes in the Engine Room. I believe you are the Lord of all flesh and there is nothing impossible for you to do’. Then I slept only to be awakened by another false alarm about 5am. I mustered in the Engine Control Room with other engineers but I was still in severe pain. It seems the pain was increasing as time passed by. At this time, it was clear there is no way I could resume at work with this magnitude of pain. If I can’t work, my head of department must know why and I can’t lie to him, neither could I hide the fact that I was in pain any longer. Every indication tends towards the fact that I have sustained a Lost Time Injury. Each passing minutes, the window for the miraculous keeps reducing and it seems shame was imminent.
I got back to my room around 5:30am and prayed to the Lord again. I said: ‘Lord Jesus, I know you can do this. It is not beyond you. All things are possible for you. I don’t doubt your ability to heal me. However, you know I’m pressed for time. If I wake up with this pain, I will have to report myself. I will not be reporting myself because I doubt your capability and willingness to heal me but because the pain will be obvious and questions will be asked. The time is getting short. Do the miraculous between now and when I wake up’. So, I tried to sleep again. As I slept I had a dream. Jesus walked into my room! He asked me ‘Do you know that the doctors would have said your ankle is fractured and they would have amputated it?’ I answered him: ‘But I don’t believe their report but yours’. Then he held my feet and prayed and I woke up!
The first thing I did was to check my leg. Miraculously, I couldn’t find the pain anymore! I rotated my ankle in all directions, I couldn’t feel any pain. I had seen the raw miracle of the Lord and I was scared! The flesh around the ankle was swollen quite alright but the pain was gone and no discomfort whatsoever! I look at the time it was just the right time to resume at work - 7:45am. I wore my boots comfortably this time and resumed at work. No one ever knew or noticed I was in pain because it never showed because Jesus came to my rescue. Over the next few days, the swollen part of the leg returned to normal.
Out of curiosity, I went to the hospital two weeks later and narrated the whole incident to a doctor. He checked my feet, rotated it in all directions, hit my ankle with his hammer and asked if I feel any pain and I said no. The doctor said to me, ‘nothing is wrong with your leg’. Wow! The doctor was right. Nothing is wrong with my leg because Jesus had healed it. Indeed ‘they looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed’ (Psalms 34:5).
Jesus is never too late to address any situation and I am a witness to that. He is right where you are! His power does not reduce by distance and it’s cheaply available anytime, anywhere. If you will purposefully strike a relationship with him today by inviting him into your life by faith, I guarantee that He will come into your life and visit any situation of concern as you invite Him.
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Written by Joshua Oyetunde
Joshua Oyetunde is the national coordinator of NFCS, a seaman and a minster of the gospel in word and music