By Chuck Goldberg
[dropcap]“… T[/dropcap]hough outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4:16, NIV).
Saddled with Lou Gehrig’s disease, Scott Brodie is far removed from his days playing basketball, football, and softball. Long gone are health-club racquetball, working out, and coaching the church men’s and women’s softball teams.
Today, he cannot fend for himself at all; he is incapable of independently eating, dressing, or bathing. Nor can he use his arms, but he can type with his toes and communicate a form of sign language with his feet. Even blinking is difficult, requiring the help of his wife, Glennis, who also serves as interpreter, since his voice is reduced to sounds unintelligible to anyone else.
alt=”Scott_shirtless” src=”https://mannaxpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Scott_shirtless-4.jpg” width=”438″ height=”498″ />Such are the ravages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which came to prominence when it killed New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig in 1941, a tragedy immortalized in the 1942 Gary Cooper movie, The Pride of the Yankees. Occurring in two of every 100,000 people, ALS is a degenerative disease that affects the brain’s ability to initiate and control muscle movement. No longer able to receive nourishment, muscles atrophy, eventually leading to death, according to the ALS Association. There is no cure.
Though Brodie received the standard life expectancy of two to five years, he is now in his 16th year with ALS. That puts him among about 10 percent who survive more than 10 years. Just 5 percent make it to year 20.
Yet, as Brodie helplessly watches his body waste away, he is beholding another phenomenon: His increasing reliance upon God and His Word has enlivened his spirit, taking him to greater spiritual heights.
“I’m a guy whose voice cannot be heard, whose body is supported by a brace, having no ability to take care of myself, living in a world that champions and celebrates strength, perfection, and achievement,” he says. “Daily, the Holy Spirit reminds me that through my weakness God’s strength is perfected and my imperfections have the ability to put His glory and His grace on display.”
Born in Iron Mountain, Michigan, and raised in several Wisconsin towns, Brodie attended the University of Wisconsin and moved to San Diego in 1982, later working in a gym health bar selling organic food products. In 1983, he moved to Tacoma, Washington, to start a new health bar in a gym, and it was there that he met Glennis. Both physically active, they frequently exercised together and fell in love, marrying in 1984.
Leaving the health bar business, Brodie worked a variety of jobs until 1985, when he began learning mobile vinyl repair and auto pinstriping. He then got the idea to launch his own mobile upholstery company specializing in health clubs and restaurants. Brodie Upholstery began in 1986 and is still going today, based in Puyallup, Washington, with son Justin running field operations and Glennis managing the office.
Brodie obtained a bachelor’s degree in theological studies in 1997 from Maryland Bible College & Seminary in Baltimore, which was affiliated with Greater Grace World Outreach. He taught Biblical studies in Tacoma at Greater Grace Bible College, where Glennis earned her degree in Biblical studies in 2003. Both remained active in ministry with Greater Grace, now known as Living Grace Ministries.
They attended Greater Grace Church in Tacoma from 1988 to 2008, until Brodie’s health made it impossible to attend, so they now listen to daily messages online and host Bible studies in their home and an occasional speaker.
With an active family of four children, full church involvement, and a growing business, life was good for the Brodies. Then in late 1995, Scott noticed twitching in his right index finger. Eventually, he became unable to press hard enough when writing invoices at work to create duplicates. He detected a loss of strength in his right arm, reducing his velocity when throwing a softball or football. Also, his aim when shooting baskets was off.
Figuring he needed more strength training, he increased his exercise at the gym. Instead, he slowly worsened. The problem expanded to his left hand and left arm, then neck to chest.
Brodie learned from his doctor it could be anything from a pinched nerve to ALS. Because his condition continued deteriorating, Brodie thought the worst, leading him to research ALS. That fall, a neurologist confirmed his fears after just two tests and a physical exam. Brodie, now 53, was 37 at the time.
He refused to believe the neurologist, who delivered the diagnosis with clinical callousness, he says, simply stating the hard facts about ALS, offering no hope. When Brodie said God could heal him, the doctor accused him of “living in denial.” Yet, the diagnosis devastated him, leaving him and Glennis crying and praying together in the parking lot.
“As we left the office, a dark cloud hovered over our heads,” Brodie says. “I could envision Satan standing above me as I clung to the sides of a dark pit. He was gleefully laughing at me in my despair, saying in a mocking tone, ‘Where is your God now, Mr. Faith?’”
They decided to meet with their pastor, who wept with them and had the congregation intercede that night and countless times since. He gave them a verse, Romans 4:18, which has become Brodie’s lifeline: “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed.”
“I’ve held onto that one truth since that day,” he says. “When questions came, I just kept holding onto hope. God has encouraged me to never lose my hope, to never lose faith in Him. He promises us ‘those that wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings as eagles.’”
Several other neurologists confirmed ALS, he says, all with the same clinical coldness, leaving him without hope that any doctor could help. So he turned to faith messages and God’s Word to remain encouraged. Satan continued waging an intense battle in his mind, with lingering projections of death and depression.
The biggest hope-builder of all occurred in March 1998 during a visit to Arizona, when Jesus appeared to Brodie one night in either a vision or dream. He told Brodie his healing had already begun and asked three separate times where he would like to serve Him, and he answered Phoenix. Greatly encouraged, Brodie then sought alternative treatments for the next seven years in the United States, Canada, and during three trips to Mexico, spending thousands of dollars on a wide variety of therapies. After all, he had God’s promise he would be serving Him in Phoenix.
While he and Glennis had faith and hope, at the same time they felt they couldn’t simply sit at home and do nothing. Perhaps God’s answer would come through people, they thought, so they had to seek alternative treatments since conventional medicine offered no hope. Each alternative built hope, but each failure became a hard hit. Yet they remained encouraged and hopeful, believing God for healing. Instead, Brodie’s condition worsened.
He became so weak by 2005, he had difficulty breathing, talking, and could barely eat without choking. Realizing he needed intervention to save his life, he followed Glennis’ urging and got a feeding tube, bi-pap machine to help get air into his lungs, a custom neck brace, and a wheelchair.
The following year, the healing Brodie began to see was spiritual, not physical, as God revealed that He could never fulfill His promise of physical healing if Brodie continued relying upon his human effort to seek a cure. Instead, all he had to do was choose to live and God would take care of the rest, healing him on this earth.
“I had to learn that trust was the avenue God would use to reveal His love for me,” he says. “Healing has never been an issue with God; He has assured me numerous times that my healing has already begun and will physically manifest in His time, not mine, where He will get all the glory. I no longer need to be occupied with healing; I need to be occupied with my Savior. The daily struggles remain, but as I grow in my love toward Christ, I rejoice that He allows me to go through them with Him.”
And more trials he would surely endure, including a tracheostomy in April 2009 so he could use a ventilator, and a severe lung infection in June that led to choking because of an obstruction. Glennis had to clash with medical authorities in the emergency room to obtain the necessary antibiotics for her husband.
Today, Brodie continues to use a ventilator, back brace, and wheelchair, though he can do some walking. Unable to eat or drink, he receives puréed food and vitamins through a feeding tube. Every couple hours he needs help to blink because his eyes are dry and unable to shut completely. His lungs function at just 20 percent capacity, so a lung infection becomes critical since he has such low breathing capability.
The Brodies’ children are Justin, 29; Jessica, 27; Ashley, 24; and Kylee, 21. Jessica has given them two grandchildren: Korbyn, born December 2008, and Brodie, born July 2011. Ashley and Kylee still live at home in Puyallup and help with care, running errands, and maintaining the house. Jessica comes over four days a week to help with care and work in the family business. One of Brodie’s brothers, Boo, 50, lives in Tacoma and also helps Justin in the business. Brodie has two other caregivers to help Glennis with household chores.
Glennis says that although the kids have lived with the uncertainty of their father’s condition, they have not allowed it to weigh them down and have pursued their futures with an enhanced view of the world, more alert to others with limitations.
“I’m really, really very proud of them, and I’m proud of Scott for every day that he commits his heart and he commits his day,” she says. “Because he doesn’t quit, I don’t quit.”
Satan hasn’t quit either, however, telling Scott he’s a burden, without dignity, and dependent on everyone. He tells him he will never receive his promise, that he’s done enough, and has even said, “God told me to tell you it’s your time—time to die.”
Some friends have departed because they either did not know how to talk to Brodie or had too much difficulty communicating and relating. Yet the Brodies remain undeterred in their focus upon God, who encourages them to keep pressing on. “None of this seems to bother us anymore,” Glennis says. “We just have to know we are in the will of God, pursuing Him wholeheartedly. We’re hanging onto the God of all hope.”
As Brodie continues to wait for deliverance from an impossible situation in the natural, he draws upon a host of relevant Bible passages, as well as the lives of Abraham, Daniel, Joseph, Nehemiah, and Hezekiah, who all faced waiting and adversity before receiving their answers. The Brodies know that God is accomplishing something special as they wait.
Video of Scott’s daughter Ashley Brodie lovingly taking care of her father
“God has His timetable,” Glennis says. “He’s making all things beautiful in His time, and He’s refining us in this process. We’re drawing nearer to Him. He uses even our waiting to help us develop our relationship with Him.”
Brodie says he is tempted to view his weakness as a liability that should be removed but realizes it may be his greatest asset because God is using it both to refine him and increase his dependence upon Him.
“It’s not the weakness we may have that is significant; it is what it can potentially produce in our soul that is of value,” he says. “I like to consider my back brace as God’s golden treasure, my feeding tube as God’s silver cup, and my tracheostomy as His diamond. They each represent a time of difficulty, a season of seeking and God’s provision. Each scar, whether visible or not, can become an ornament of His grace.”
For more on Scott Brodie’s journey of faith, check his blog at www.deathvalleypromises.org.
Update: Scott Brodie went to be with the Lord on November 5, 2012 leaving behind his precious wife, children and grand children. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
Chuck Goldberg has a degree in journalism and a Master of Divinity in Christian education. A former newspaper reporter and magazine managing editor, he is now an ordained minister and freelance writer-editor. He and his wife Dolly have three children and live in Layton, Utah.
Such a moving but powerful testimony of a very courageous man. What an inspiration! What a family! What a joy to know that people like this exist! I am encouraged!
Tears were just streaming down my face as I read this. Thank you Mannaexpress for sharing this extraordinary testimony. Ride on Mr. Brodie…continue to do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
I have known Scott since 1992. He haas never waivered in faith and has become a testimant for me to live by. When Scott was able to speak, it was if the Lord was speaking through Scott. Literally sending chills up my spine and a since of warmth and peace. There is no doubt that Scott and his wife Glennis and his wonderful children are prime examples of a family that lives for the lord. I read Scott’s daily ministry and it gives me strength as I have been recently diagnosed with Epilepsy. We have a ggreat kinship, and often talk of when we meet in heaven and both are well again siiting in the great hall of our Lord rejoicing.
Dear Lord, help me to stop complaining about this and that. Give me the heart to trust YOU unconditionally. Bless Scott and his family. Thank you Lord.
So touching, i couldn’t stop reading this powerful story of courage and hope. Scott, God is still on your case,you’ve not given up on God, He’ll never give up on you. God will make you a testimony to the world.
“Brodie says he is tempted to view his weakness as a liability that should be removed but realizes it may be his greatest asset because God is using it both to refine him and increase his dependence upon Him” – Wow, wow, wow!!!
I am encouraged as well.
My Almighthy God please forgive me when I complain about one thing or the other. My faith in thee is unshakable and I am very grateful for continues long life and excellent health for my children and I. Amen. I will always put Scott and his family in my prayers.To God be the glory, Halleluiah.
I guess you showed Satan who was boss, GOD.
When I hear stories like you and the things you have gone through I look at myself and say Chicken…why don’t you do something. I know God is working for you and I pray that every day you will feel his love. I pray that I can be faithful and do what God wants me to do. You are a miracle. Praying for you and your family. Margaret Alexander, Texarkana, Arkansas.
🙂 my prays go out to the whole family my GOD be with them all
very touchin and inspirational.. The great faith and courage the family is havin.. By his stripes we are healed and God through his Son will surely bring healing in your home..
I feel so ashamed of all my petty things I cripe about in my. I ask you GOD to forgive me. The love and courage and Faith in you that this family has is so amazing its very INSPIRATIONAL. You all will be in my pprayers very touching. GOD is an awesome GOD.
I am at a loss for words, Scott and his family are truly amazing people. This is a testimonial to all of us. Have faith, trust, and believe in His word that prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. God bless the Brodie family.
I am so incouraged! Have lived with MS for 15 years and trusting God for healing
With God, all things are possible. Brodie, keep believing and hold on to faith because GOD is with you.
🙄 What a true inspirational story!! Nothing is impossible with God….:-)
My grandmother passed away with this horrific Lou Gehrig’s Disease over fifteen years ago! I pray that God continues to Bless You and Your Family!!
Thanks for making my day a much better day!
I’m very sorry for the pain that you and your family have endured over the 20 years but am sure that you’ll be fully healed and will keep you in my prayers.
Hey, this was an amazing article. Your father has the best family ever. Your faith shines so clear and evident and that is something that is very special. I pray this article and video will be seen by others and encourage them to look and accept Jesus Christ into their heart. I appreciate everything you guys to take care of your father. God is a loving God and is always there. Never give up. God bless you guys so much, hope this goes viral and encourages thousands.
🙄 i love this story i thought about giving up on God until i heard this story it mad think twice about giving up on him thank you brodie family for sharing this video God bless you all
😀 i hope god can make my life beautiful then now
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