Tim Bosch and several of his family members headed to Montreal for a routine checkup for Tim, that is, as routine as a checkup can get for a 15-year-old with brittle bone disease. They were prepared for bad news about Tim's leg. Since breaking his left femur in 2009, Tim had persistent pain. They were not prepared for even more difficult news.
After x-rays, the doctor showed film of his leg to Tim and his mom. These explained the pain. Not only had the fracture not healed in the last year and a half, but also much of bone below the fracture was gone. Only the titanium rod in Tim's femur gave his upper leg rigidity.
Tim’s mother, a nurse, immediately began quizzing the doctor about various treatments to encourage bone growth, but he stopped her. He wanted to talk about Tim’s back. With tears in his eyes, the doctor showed the Bosches Tim’s back x-ray which revealed that his back was collapsing under the weight of Tim’s growing body. The doctor outlined an extensive pre-surgery, surgery, and post surgery regimen which would be required.
That night the Bosches stayed in a hotel in Montreal. Tim’s mom, Debra, didn’t sleep all night. She prayed, mostly just two words, “Really, God?” In the morning, she went over to Tim’s room to check on him. He was awake too. As a deeply committed Christian, I’m sure Tim prayed to God, but as I heard the story, he told his mom that he had been taunting Satan. “Bring it on, Satan. Take my leg! Take my back! Bring it on!”
The Bosches told this story last night at a benefit concert for them featuring Christian singer-songwriter Christopher Williams. This morning, I read a column in the new Christianity Today by Carolyn Arends which has the same confident theme, “Satan’s A Goner.”
In her column, Arends describes a talk by a missionary couple that she heard as a child. The couple described the intrusion into their home of a huge snake. They didn’t know what to do, so they fled the house and got help from one of their neighbors who chopped off the snake’s head with a machete. He told the couple that the snake was defeated, but they would have to wait for some time for it to realize that it was dead. Apparently snake neurology and blood flow require considerable time between decapitation and cessation of movement.
As the couple waited outside, the large snake body thrashed inside their house smashing furniture and wreaking havoc until it finally stopped moving.
After the husband told this story to Arends’ church, he asked, “Do you see it?” He explained, “Satan is a lot like that big old snake. He’s already been defeated. He just doesn’t know it yet. In the meantime, he’s going to do some damage. But never forget that he’s a goner.”
For Tim Bosch, for every one of us, we know that Satan’s a goner. All of us who are in Christ can echo Tim’s defiant and competitive catcall, “Bring it on, Satan.”
Near the end of the concert, Williams pointed to the Bosches and urged all 1000 or so in attendance to support them in prayer, not just that evening, but into the future as well. They will need it, because their battles will continue. What's true of the Bosches is true for all.
Williams did a fine job highlighting the brokenness that we all face, and the resurrection power we Christians have in Jesus Christ. The Bosches emphasized several times that the concert wasn’t to put the focus on them, but to give the glory to God.
Every person, every family deals with brokenness. That’s life in a broken world. Satan thrashes about, creating a lot of devastation. But here’s the good news, he hasn’t realized yet that he’s dead. He wounded God’s heel, but in Jesus Christ God crushed his head (Genesis 3:15). Bring it on, Satan. You’re a goner.