Finding God In The Midst Of Pain

Mickey Robinson says the greatest challenge he has faced isn’t recovering from an airplane crash but watching his son Michael suffer with cerebral palsy.

Mickey Robinson insists his greatest suffering has nothing to do with his painstaking recovery from an air­plane crash. He says his deepest trial has been over his 24-year-old son, Michael, who was born with cerebral palsy.
Michael, the oldest of the Robinsons’ four children, has been confined to a wheelchair all of his life. He had unsuccessful back surgery in 1992, resulting in the loss of additional physical abilities, and was left in chronic, excruciating back pain.
A walking miracle himself, Mickey knows how to rely on the Lord for his strength. But watching his own son suffer challenged him to the utmost.
“As my son lay in that bed and looked at me, I was shattered,” says Mickey, agonizing with his wife, Barbara, over Michael’s pain and loss.
The next several years brought an exacerbating search for appropriate rehabilitation. Numerous rehab centers pro­nounced Michael’s case a lost cause, offering the bright young man no hope for recovery.
“But the Lord’s love was pre­sent through it all,” says Mickey, who admits that the ordeal reordered his own priorities. In time, the Robinsons moved their family to Jackson, Mississippi, where Michael made considerable progress through rehabilitation and prayer support.
Caring for a handicapped family member on a 24/7 basis can be chal­lenging, with adequate Christian resources few and far between, the Robinsons say. Although family and nearby friends have been very helpful, Michael’s main respite caregiver is Mike Amheiser, a longtime friend from the Robinsons’ church in Butler, Ohio, Amheiser frequently commutes more than seven hours to Franklin, Ten­nessee, where the Robinsons now live, to care for Michael when Mickey and Barbara travel together for ministry, “The Lord clearly led me to come and serve [the Robinsons],” says Amheiser, who owns a pizza parlor in Ohio.
Today, as Michael’s siblings are moving out on their own for jobs and college, he says he is ready to gain some independence as well and to pursue his own niche in ministry if he can find the right assisted-care facility.
“I want to do something like my dad does, only not so much traveling,” says Michael, who loves to pray for people, especially those with back injuries.
‘The Lord uses [Michael] because of his willingness,” Amheiser says.
Feeling like the Christian commu­nity has not generally taken up the call to meet the needs of the handicapped, the Robinsons have emerged from this experience with a vision to establish a semi-independent living facility that would nurture the spiritual gifts and the physical abilities of the handi­capped. Plans are under way possibly to develop such a facility in Nashville, Tennessee.

(Courtesy, Charisma Magazine)