“Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy or sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” James 4:13~15
These verses were vividly illustrated as they became a reality this week. We were coming home from a Christmas party, at a friends home. We live about 1½ hours from each other, and we left really late. REALLY late. Like 1:30 late. It was raining. It had been on and off all evening, but it was really raining now. Almost everyone in our van was asleep…only my parents and I were awake. There were hardly any cars on the interstate. Hardly any at all. The car in front of us swerved suddenly. The brake lights came on. Then the headlights were facing us. The car began spinning, around and around, gaining speed, doing about three complete doughnuts, before going off the road, down the steep hill, where it hit a tree, the momentum carrying them halfway around until the car was stuck in between a tree and a thick brush, seemingly in slow motion, yet so very quickly. Dad slammed on the brakes, had the car stopped on the shoulder of the road, and was running down there before I could completely register what had just happened, hardly pausing just long enough to call, “Call 911! Call an ambulance!” We anxiously watched as he arrived down there, and peered into the car. And he quickly came back up, running, with tears in his eyes. Mom was still on the phone to the emergency personnel. “Tell them they’re both dead.” This drama took maybe ten seconds. Ten seconds. In those ten seconds, two people, who were alive, driving, in front of us, had lost their lives.
This has made my whole family stop and think. We do not know what caused the wreck, nor do we know the state of their souls. Ten seconds. That is all the time it took for our Heavenly Father to call these people in front of Him. In those ten seconds of utter chaos, do you really think that they had time to pause and examine the state of their souls? To ask forgiveness of each other for wrongs done? “And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement….”Hebrews 9:27 And to face that judgement without Christ is certain and eternal death.
I want to encourage you today to examine your heart. To examine your actions and thoughts and words. What will people remember about you when you die? Will they remember you as a godly Christian, who tried your best to honor your Creator as you lived each day of your life? Or will they remember you as a selfish, stingy person who only lived for their own pleasure? We can also flip~flop this ~ what would you feel like if the people you interacted with daily suddenly died, with no warning? Because for these two people, there was no warning. What if the little sister you breezed past because you were busy was suddenly called before God? What if the brother you yelled at in frustration because they just wouldn’t listen were suddenly called? You would have to live with your actions towards these people for your whole life…would you like those feelings?
We were amazed with God’s Providences. We don’t normally stay so late at friend’s homes. If we had left a minute later, we wouldn’t have seen this happen. A minute earlier, and who’s to say it wouldn’t have been us who wrecked? And if we had not seen this unfold before our eyes, we never would have seen the car in the woods, in the rain, going 65mph on the interstate. They would have been missing for a while. They were a middle aged couple, perhaps they had been married for years. How merciful of our Father to call them to Him together! One person didn’t have to learn to live without the other, going through the rest of their life without their partner by their side. It reminds me of a hymn, written by William Cowper, a famous poet, “God Moves In A Mysterious Way”:
“God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
“Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
“Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
“His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
“Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.”
Our gracious Heavenly Father will always carry out the plans that He has decreed. He doesn’t need our consent or say so, and He doesn’t need to explain it to us. He simply tells us, commands us, to trust Him to work all things for our eternal good, knowing that He will never leave us nor forsake us. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…” Proverbs 3:5. “….For He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5 He has promised that He will always uphold us, and that He will never give us more than we can bear, and that the trials He sends will never leave without bearing fruit of some kind in our lives. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7 “But now sayeth the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name, thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:1&2. I suggest reading the whole passage in Isaiah 43 as it is an in~depth, encouraging passage at how our Father loves His people.
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.