Psalm 34:6 - This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
This month marks the two year anniversary of one of the most shocking experiences in my life. It is the month we almost lost our son in a freak accident during school.
I’ll never forget it. I was on my way home with my other two children when my cell phone rang. Isn’t it odd how our instincts know when the call is bad? Wary, I answered. It was our son’s teacher. He told me that there had been an accident during P.E. and our son needed stitches.
Okay, I’ll be right there, I replied.
I changed the direction of the van and immediately drove to school. Upon arrival, I was startled to see his head wrapped in gauze because I didn’t understand what had happened at that point – only that I needed to take him to the hospital. I called my husband and got his voice mail. We have a system of calling to identitfy an emergency, but up to that point we never had to use it. This was not a false alarm.
He called me back and said, You used our emergency system, is everything okay?
No, I answered. There’s been an accident. Meet us at the hospital.
He abruptly ended his conference call, left work and met us at the hospital. The doctor removed the school’s bandages, and we all got a first look at the injury. My knees grew weak.
There was a very large, gaping hole in my son’s face. We could see all the way up and deep into his tissue. What in the world?
My son suffered an impalement, and it nearly cost him his life. Any other trajectory of the object, and it could have easily resulted in a permanent impairment or fatality. He could have easily loss his sight, his hearing, his nose or his teeth. Worse, it could have killed him. Oh, when I think back to it my stomach turns.
Miraculously, after weeks of pain, the only visible reminder left is a large scar. He was literally millimeters from death, and God spared his life. He made a full recovery – all praise and glory to our Lord!
Times like these remind us of how precious life is, and how easy it is to lose it. We are also reminded that God has a plan, and even though we live in a fallen, sinful, hurting world, God is above all and He can make something good come from something bad. For our son, he was very grateful for the show of care and concern by classmates he thought didn’t care at all about him. He was humbled by the love shown by family and friends. Our son saw firsthand the power of God and intervention in his life. He has used his story many times to give witness to the saving power of God. He allowed God to work in his life, and this incident made him stronger in his faith and in his daily life.
When bad things rock our world, we become stronger or weaker. Bitter or forgiving. Soft-spirited or hard-hearted. It’s our choice. For our family, we know and rest in the assurance that God sees all, knows all, and nothing can happen that has not passed through the hands of our Father. God doesn’t create bad. He is the Author of good. So many times in this world, God gets dubbed the bad guy. God is good. God is holy. God is loving. He cannot be both bad and good at the same time. However, He does allow bad things to happen - but not without a redemptive plan. The Garden of Eden was the only perfect paradise on earth, and we simply don’t live in that world anymore. However, God can radically work in our lives – for our good – if we let Him.
Do we understand why bad things happen? No. I don’t have answers, explanations, or justifications. I only know that God can bring good out of bad and can spare us hard hearts if we allow ourselves to be pliable in His hands.
I don’t take this persepctive because we had a happy ending. If you’ve read my other blogs, you’ve seen that there have been many times in my life that did not result in a happy ending this side of Heaven. This doesn’t mean I can’t find joy in my every day. Sometimes what happens in life isn’t our choice. But, how we respond is our choice. I encourage you to seek God and ask Him to work in your life and show you the glory of His redemptive power.
If you are also thankful today for a near miss, a sparing of life, for a loved one or yourself, celebrate with me with the verses below.
Daniel 3:13 - Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king…16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
Exodus 14:10-14, 26-29 - As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” 13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. 29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
Acts 16: 22-23, 26-30 - The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” 29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Acts 28:1-5 (After the northeaster storm and shipwreck) - Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.
Zephaniah 3:17 - The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save…