II Corinthians 10:5

"Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

March 5, 2010

Like a Flood His Mercy Reigns...

One month ago Wednesday, one of our very dear friends was in a horrible ski accident. The purpose of this blog is to relate how this incident shook both mine and Dan’s world, and to share with you the valuable life lessons that were learned.

For me there were four major lessons:

Lessons about just how precious and frail human life really is. I've heard about it all my life, but it wasn't until it was almost taken away before my eyes, until I knelt beside Amanda’s motionless body, and saw the lifeless look on her face, that I fully comprehended those lessons. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. How often we go through our days, not realizing them for what they are –our life! Never look at life as something ordinary or commonplace…everyday is a precious gift from God. Seize the day!

Lessons about how I treat others. That night I couldn't help but think, if Amanda hadn't been spared, would I have had any regrets? What if it would have been someone else in our group lying there....would I have been "okay" with how I treated them? Just like we don’t know when it’s our last day, we never know when it’s those around us last days either.

Lessons about living in light of eternity. That night and through the following days, I kept thinking, “Amanda could have stood before God that night”. It made me really stop and think. I never know when I am going to stand before God and give my account- would I be ready today? If today was my last day here, would I wish I would have done just "that one thing" different?

Most importantly though, lessons about God. His overwhelming greatness, love, and mercy that covered our foolishness. I felt so small that night...so helpless...so thankful that I had Someone so much infinitely wiser and greater, who was in control, and had my best interest in mind to Whom I could turn. Who am I that God, the maker of the universe, should hear my pleas for help? I am humbled to think that He did. His ways are truly above my ways, I can only stand amazed and in awe of the miracle He worked that night.

I only hope that in the months and years ahead, I never forget these lessons...they weren't cheap, but they could have been so much more costly. At least once a week I drive past the emergency entrance to Regions Hospital and I remember that night a month ago. I can't help but shudder to think what might have been, and praise God for what was...

Almighty, Infinite, Father faithfully loving Your own. Here in our weakness You find us, falling before Your throne. Oh we're falling before Your throne. You are the One that we praise. You are the One we adore. You give the healing and grace, our hearts always hunger for.

Yes Lord, You gave the healing and grace that our hearts were hungering, no that our hearts were begging for…

“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth.” Psalm 115:1

Soli Deo Gloria!

A few things that God has showed me and caused me to learn.

A vapor
One minute everything was great - the next our hearts stood still...We have all heard our parents say something like "Life is fragile" or "a gift" or "precious." It's almost like it was a little bit cliche- until the bubbly, energetic life of a friend was almost snuffed out in a split second, feet from myself. James 4:14 says, "...For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." Job also proclaims, "(man) comes forth like a flower and fades away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue." Suddenly I began to more fully understand and appreciate the harsh but very true reality of the preciousness and fragility of a human life. Lord help us to redeem the time, for the days of our life are fleeting.

"What we do in life echoes in eternity"
The above is one of my favorite quotes. I use it to help me set my mind on things above (Col 3:2). However, I realized I had not been living in light of eternity, and instead was valuing things of self-interest. After the accident, God began to tear away the false perception I had of myself and showed me my pride, vanity, and foolishness which were partly to blame for the incident. Was a ski race so important as to endanger the lives of others and damage the testimony of Christ? I now realize how I had been so caught up in the moment as to not take the thought captive (2 Cor 2:10) and examine it in light of eternity. This is something in which God is really challenging me to refocus on in every area of my life. When we set our minds on things above, we choose to value the calling of Christ over the temporary pleasures of this world. We choose to abide in Him, to put off the old man and put on the New, to give him control of our heart and life and store up treasures for ourselves in heaven.(Matt 6:19) Lord, help us to take the time to examine every situation through your perspective.

Our insignificance compared to His greatness
Amanda's condition was totally out of our hands...there was nothing we could do, but cry out to the Lord. When our world gets rocked, we have the Rock on which to fall. When at the bottom of the hill and facing the reality of what had happened, to think that the omnipotent God of the universe cares about the "son of man" (Psalm 8:4) is truly remarkable, comforting, and reassuring. God allowed us to channel the tremendous nervousness and pressure within us to Him through prayer. He knows there wasn't anything we could do, but wanted us to cast our cares upon Him, to grow in our trust of Him. He allows us to do this through prayer. Help us Lord, to learn to turn to You not only in the bad times but also just as quickly in the good...to grow in our trust of You.

I wish that all the lessons could have been learned without the terrible crash happening. But it is assuring to rest in the sovereignty of God. He knows what it takes to get our attention and to hit home with a message. It's hard to believe it's already been a month. May God continue to bless your recovery, Amanda.

Christ Only, Always-