Christ is risen indeed! This Easter join us, your families and churches as we celebrate that joyous moment of ultimate victory! By His being raised from the dead, Jesus has shown us grace which covers the myriad of debts we held for our sins, victory over the curse of death we inherited by our sinful nature, and His complete and utter domination over every circumstance in this life and that which is to come.
My name is James Hunt and I am the son of our founder William H. “Skip” Hunt. In October of 2013, I attended the wedding of my nephew at a resort in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. Little did I know at the time, but my life would change drastically by simply wading ankle deep in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Within 24 hours my body became septic, my heart rate elevated above 220 beats per minute and I entered into a condition known as diabetic keto-acidosis. If that wasn’t enough… my foot was black, swollen to twice its size and my blood sugar was in the 600+ range. Doctors would tell me later that had I waited 30 minutes or longer in getting to the hospital, it would have been likely I wouldn’t be here at all.
What could do this to a healthy 6’3″ 250 lb man? A Great White Shark attack? A Man O’ War Jellyfish? A Spiny Poisinous Anemone? Nope. The culprit was a small bacteria I would learn is called Vibrio Vulnificus, the “flesh eating bacteria”. It assaulted and ravaged my body in ways I am still learning about 3 years later…
I am blessed to say that after three surgeries and several hospitalizations, I have seen God’s gracious hand upon my life in this time of trouble. I count it all joy! After all, He prompted me to go to the only hospital where I would be treated under a new set of protocols which saved my life. He led me to a team of infectious disease doctors with specific knowledge on countering the further spread of this bacteria and He spared me the loss of my feet. God has continually showed me favor through the outpouring of prayer and support I received from family, friends, neighbors and churches all over… Throughout this journey God has been in it all.
As a praiseworthy note consider this: I found out later, that had this happened to me one year earlier, there would not have been any known treatment for my condition. Doctors would have amputated my legs till the infection was controlled or I would have died. See how God is good!!!
There is something very sobering about learning how close you are to death… To be honest, as I said before, I never thought of my condition as that perilous. I never feared for my life. In saying that, I look back and can’t help but see the hand of God upon me and leading me through it all. He gave me a peace that surpassed all understanding. He led me through the valley of the shadow of death!
Isn’t our God great! As I write my tale I am reminded of the song by Bill Gaither, “Because He Lives”:
God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone,
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
It never ceases to blow my mind how the Creator of life and all that we know… loves us, came to live as one of us, and gave His life for us as a ransom for our sins. Such filth and iniquities which should forever separate us from Him… But He did… and then He rose from the dead as we shall also rise from the dead in similar glory one day to be with Him for all eternity on paradise!
Remember the blessed gift this Easter! The gift of life! The gift of peace which passes all understanding through the surety of a risen Christ!