A group of church friends gathered for an evening of fellowship this past week. Everyone enjoyed catching up with one another. A great time was had by all. Joy filled the air. These friends were bound together by their common love for Jesus. As the evening drew to a close, each couple left. On their way home, one couple was struck by a speeding car resulting in a horrific accident. In an instant, everything changed. Please read more….
Prior to moving to the Carolinas 21 years ago, my wife and I lived in Florida and we attended church with those who were gathered that evening. Through church and through our common involvement in Cursillo, God blessed us with close lifelong friendships. Over the 30 plus years we have known these friends, we were there for each other for births, graduations, weddings and funerals. We were sustained in our joys and sorrows by our shared faith in Jesus Christ.
The couple involved in the accident were within one mile of their home. In a flash, their joy filled evening came to a screeching stop. Suddenly, they found themselves rolling over and over in their automobile. The car was crushed on the driver’s side and upside down. The husband, who was driving, is now hospitalized in serious condition. He sustained internal bleeding, fractures and crushed bones. His wife sustained a fractured arm, bumps and bruises.
At first, it seemed in doubt as to whether he would pull through. When I received the phone call about the accident I cried and prayed. My friend has now stabilized. More orthopedic surgeries are scheduled. Recovery will be slow and painful. Please keep them in your prayers.
Why did I share this story? I did so because in an instant everything in our life can change. This past week, 24 people lost their lives in the tornados that struck Tennessee. James 4:14 tells us this, “you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.”
We are called to love one another, and we need to both show and tell those who are close to us just how much we love them. We cannot say it often enough. We cannot wait until tomorrow because tomorrow may not come.
In 2019, over 38,000 people in the United States lost their lives in car crashes. So far, over 20,000 people have died during the 2019-2020 flu season. About 1,000 people a year in the US die from choking, 800 die from drowning, 3,000 die from home fires, 800 die in bicycles accidents, 6,000 die from falling in their homes and in the last eight weeks over 3,200 people worldwide have died from Covid-19 virus.
None of us knows the day nor the hour of our death. We also don’t know the day and hour of death for those we love. Tragedies are a part of life. The grief and pain they inflict are hard to bear. No one should be forced to bear them alone. Even Jesus wept at the death of His friend Lazarus.
Psalms 144:4 says this, “Man is but a breath, his days are like a passing shadow.” I cannot imagine dealing with the difficulties of life without the support of Christian friends. All of us who know the couple injured in the accident have rallied around them in person or in thought and prayer.
In years past in these 4th Day Letters, I have suggested the idea of writing to 40 different people during the 40 days of Lent to tell them how important they are to you and just how much you love them. I did not do that at the beginning of Lent this year. In hindsight, perhaps I should have. It is not too late to do so.
On Calvary, Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross and gave His life to show us just how much He loves us. Before His death, He called us to share His love for us with others. We cannot hesitate to do this!
As I write this message, it appears my friends will survive the crash and in time they will heal from their wounds. They are fortunate to be alive. We need to tell our parents if they are living, our spouse if we have one, our children, grandchildren, siblings, friends, neighbors and co-workers how much they mean to us as often as we can. We cannot wait!
Finally, when tragedy does strike, we need to show those who are impacted the true love of Jesus Christ. In an instant everything can change and when it does, Christian friendship is essential.
Heavenly Father you can bring comfort and healing to those whose lives are suddenly impacted by tragedies. Help us to carry your love to those in need. Surround us Father with true friends who can sustain us too, when heartache and pain come our way. In Jesus name we pray, amen!
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