Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

Almost Dead

“Happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty” Job 5:17

Monday, March 30, 2009 I almost had an appointment with death. My life at that point had become embroiled in disobedience to the Lord. He was trying to get my attention, but I wasn’t listening.

I was pastoring in New York at the time. On that fateful Monday afternoon I needed to go and purchase some atheltic equipment. I took one of the Seniors from our Christian school with me. My oldest son was going to go but had to stay for a ministry team meeting. After we loaded the van with the purchased items I tossed the young man with me the keys and told him to drive because I needed a nap.

I drifted in and out of sleep. It was about a thirty minute trip back to the school. At one point I remember the front end of the van just smacking down onto pavement. I woke with the violent drop and looked at the young driver. The van in several flips and turns. Airbags were all deployed, shattered glass flew everywhere, and my knee immediately went into pain. When the van settled I could hear voices coming toward us screaming, “they must be dead!” But we weren’t!

The floor board where I was sitting had come up and there was asphault that had jammed my knee into the glove box. I looked at him and asked if he was okay. He turned the van off and we unhooked the seat belts and got out. We were both in shock. The van was completely demolished. Most of the equipment we bought flew out the windows and was all over the roadside.

I immediately thanked the Lord we were alive and that my son had not come with us. If he had he would have been sitting in the seat where we had placed those items. It would have been Ira all over road and not buckets of baseballs.  

EMT’s and police and fire crews all arrived. I was checked over and released. The young man’s parents took him to the hospital for a more thurough examination. I gathered up a few personal things before the tow truck took the remains of my vehicle away. Up to this point I managed to hold it together. I reassured the young man repeatedly it was an accident and not his fault.

It wasn’t until I got home. It wasn’t until my children came into the house that I lost it. Completely.

I hugged them and cried like never in my life. My wife sensed it was more than the accident but wasn’t sure what it was completely. God was trying to give me a wake call from the slumber of my rebellion. It would take four more months for that to happen.

Some facts regarding the accident: The driver did not hit anything. The van was airborne, upside down and should have landed on its roof crushing us. An eye witness told me, “it was a like grabbed that van and turned it rightside up and sat you down because you did not come crashing down.” But GOD!

I learned about a year ago from an uncle who has worked for General Motors for over 40 years that the maker of my van (not GM) discontinued that model because of a design defect in the weight distribution across the chasis causing the front axel to break.

My associate pastor said to me that night when we went together to look at the van, “death pointed his finger at you but God said not today.” He assumed, and I didn’t correct him, it was a sign of vindication for me. I made myself believe he was right because I liked his take on it. He was also unaware of how the Lord was trying to get my undivided attention.

God did spare my life and the life of that young man that gray, chilly afternoon.

Our lives are to be conduits of His blessing and glory. Others need to see that shining through us. It’s not about us. It is to be about Him. When it’s about us we’re dead and don’t even know it. He is life. Life is in Him.

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