Have you ever had a brush with death? A near miss that given an inch here or a second there and your life would be altered permanently or even extinguished? Such an experience is sobering and troubling. Was God there or not? ◊
A very odd experience happened late one night this week. Just two miles from home while making the short drive from one of the kids’ house, a speeding car ran a 4-way boulevard stop and literally brushed the front of our car as it sped through the intersection and continued at a high rate of speed.
My wife and I had come to a full stop before crossing the familiar intersection. I saw a car on my left turning right and noticed the headlights of another car behind that one in the far distance. I focused on the car on my right which approached the intersection stop sign at the same time as our car. Honoring the rule that I should yield to the car on my right. I paused (fortunately) and waited. The car still did not budge. After several moments I took the lead and proceeded across the intersection. It was at that time I realized the distant car on my left had never stopped and was approaching me in an instant traveling over 50 MPH. I slammed on the brakes in the middle of the intersection while the speeding car swerved slightly to the left and back again to avoid hitting the car on my right head on. I felt the slightest of an impact as the speeding car directly passed my front bumper and continued on. Both my wife and I saw sparks before us as the car roared by.
Shaken, we pulled over on the other side of the street and sat still for several moments without saying a word. I got out and inspected the front of the car expecting to see some damage. We only found paint marks on our bumper from the other car as it merely brushed our car at its high rate of speed. One inch further or certainly a moment later and the high-speed impact would have done substantial damage to all of us.
What was odd was that the paint marks on the front left of our bumper was in a spot that would appear to be impossible to have been struck without tearing off the whole front bumper of our car.
Was God in This?
Have you ever had such a brush with death or catastrophe? Of course it’s a sobering and troubling experience. It raises some immediate questions. Where was God in this? Was God even there at all? Does He care? Did we just luck out and escape a close one? Certainly we know that bad things happen all the time, even to good people. Wasn’t this just a random act of bad driving and a fortunately avoided major accident? Happens all the time, doesn’t it?
Apart from any personal speculation on reasons or purposes, I know and believe very clearly the following:
- Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. – Hebrews 4:13
- Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. – Isaiah 40:28
- Lord, you have examined me and know all about me….You know everything I do. Lord, even before I say a word, you already know it. You are all around me—in front and in back—and have put your hand on me. Your knowledge is amazing to me; it is more than I can understand. – Psalm 139:1-6
- He provides them with security, and they are supported; And His eyes are on their ways. – Job 24:23
- Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. – Luke 12:7
- How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” – 1 John 3:1
The Bible reveals the existence, love, and character of God. We are not random acts of nature, but created beings of the Living God with purpose that surrounds Him. To know God should be our greatest aspiration. To abide, serve, and walk with Him in the physical and spiritual realm is our highest calling.
Whether we believe it or not, God is in all things with ways, means, and visions beyond our imagination in this temporal life. We do well to simply submit and surrender to His authority.
5 Essential Truths
Regarding our brush with death, for two weeks prior I have had a sense of foreboding. While I could not put my finger on it, it nonetheless moved me to retool my prayer and study time. I started fasting for the first time just 6 days before the car incident. I could only tell my wife that my sense was that God was stirring something in me.
While that something is still unknown, I know, trust, and believe the following 5 essential truths that bring great peace and comfort, even in the midst of near tragedy:
- God is Good and Loves Us – God is like a good Father who knows, loves, and cares about his children intimately.
- God Knows Everything – God is omniscient and omnipresent, beyond what we can understand and even imagine.
- God Can Do Anything – God can create out of nothing, turn water to wine, raise up kings and nations, resurrect the dead. There is nothing that God cannot do if He wills it, even allow or not allow car accidents.
- Bad Things Happen – Even dark tragedy can fall upon those good and evil in a broken world. But God has redeemed Man and has given him a choice to believe and obey Him, with a promise of restoration here and in eternity. Either way, there is no leaving of this cursed earth without tasting death.
- Prayer Works Spiritually and Physically – The power of God’s Holy Spirit operating in the physical and spiritual dimensions is real and proven. That we pray and call upon God’s power for wisdom, guidance and protected covering over our lives and that of our families now and unto future generations is simply exercised obedience.
And with these 5 essentials understood, God will have His way, and I, my wife, and all of us around the world as followers of Him, can live in rest and peace.
Is God alive and active in your life?
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands…” – Acts 17:24