John's emotions jumped to joyous excitement as he read the telegram, "You are the father of a baby boy..." his heart skipped a beat as he continued "...however, there is something wrong and he is not expected to live. Please come home immediately."
John McCulloch has written "Refined in the Furnace of Affliction" to encourage readers who are going through trials to put their trust in God. The book is an autobiographical memoir demonstrating how devastating heart breaking afflictions can be turned around to produce positive character and faith building experiences.
Baby Johnny sustained a head injury at birth. Within months it was discovered that he had hydrocephalus. Johnny was taken to the University of California Medical School in San Francisco, where Dr. John Adams, neurosurgeon, performed surgery to absorb the pressure causing the problem.
A few months later Johnny was sick again. After two more surgeries the Hydrocephalus problem was resolved, however, the pressure had damaged his optic nerve. Johnny was legally blind before he was two years old.
I found John's story particularly interesting as I identified with parallels in my own life as John relates his family experiences and service in the Navy in the 1950s. He tells of his college years at the University of Montana with a major in foresting, of summer jobs in the forestry service, and details of the arrival of each the four children, Johnny, Bryan, Bruce, and Beverly. I also enjoyed the family photo album included at the end of the book.
John shares stories of his spiritual journey as he relates the trials of Johnny's early schooling and of his successes in high school. He relates the interaction of the other siblings and the impact Johnny's blindness had on their emotional and spiritual development.
As Bryan, Bruce, and Beverly moved into their early adult years, Johnny, at age 28, was stuck by a car and thrown 60 feet. This resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Johnny has been confined to nursing care facilities since his accident.
In early March of 2000, it was discovered that Sylvia was a victim of Lou Gehrig's disease. Church and family members rallied around, John, and Sylvia offering comfort and support. In April the following year Sylvia went to be with the Lord.
McCulloch writes with conviction and openness, conveys a love for his family, with a positive message of a living Christ, sustaining and strengthening us in our every need.
"Refined in the Furnace of Affliction" is the story of how one family met and faced their suffering, difficulty, and hardships. It is a story of faith being tested, perseverance being developed, and trust being strengthened.