in hindsight comes a revelation.
My husband and I were driving
home after attending an out-of-town football game, a four-hour drive.
In the car were our newlywed daughter and her husband. The day had been
full and fun with a visit to my parents, tailgating, and the excitement
of college football.
It was dark. The traffic was
heavy on the four-lane highway. Cars in front of us, an SUV driving
And then, as my husband got into
the left lane to drive around a semi, we saw it. A dead deer lying in
A semi on our right, a ditch on
our left . . . we had nowhere to go but straight ahead.
My husband braced his hands on
the steering wheel. “Hold on!”
I will never forget the awful
sound of running over that dead animal. The thud of the tires, the
rocking of our car as it raced over the hefty obstacle at sixty-five
miles an hour.
Somehow we stayed on the road,
and stayed in our lane. But then we heard a part of the car dragging.
We drove five miles to the next town, wary of seeing the damage.
The plastic under-bumper of our
car was dragging, and the lining of the front wheel-well was completely
gone. But that was it. We bought some duct tape and taped the bumper in
place for the rest of the trip. We joked nervously about how lucky we’d
We didn’t get home until nearly
11 p.m., and fell right into bed. But during the night my husband awoke
in a cold sweat. I wasn’t sleeping well either.
We always think accidents happen
to other people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. But this
time it had happened to us.
these early morning hours the could-have-beens rushed toward us, taking
us captive. We could have crashed into the semi. We could have crashed
into the ditch. We could have rolled the car. We could have gone
airborne. The SUV driving behind us could have run into us—or suffered
its own accident. Our daughter and her husband, who had just talked
about starting a family, could have lost their lives. We all could
have. In the matter of a few seconds, a happy family outing could have
become a family tragedy.
But it didn’t.
hard as the what-ifs were to
take, the knowledge that we were alive and unscathed was just as
sobering—and luck had nothing to do with it.
We both thanked God over and
over and over. Yet mere thanks didn’t seem to be enough. Why were we
saved when people die in accidents every day?
I wish I could say we discovered
the answer to that question, but we didn’t. We haven’t. We only
know—now, more than ever—that life is precious, tenuous, and often
unexplainable. But since we do have these days that
might not have been ours but for a second here or an inch there, we
keep thanking God and asking Him to help us be worthy of this grace,
for we are sinners and have done nothing to deserve being saved.
And yet He saved us . . .
Every day He saves us—He saves
you—in a thousand ways.
As this new year begins think on
that. And never take it for granted.
I consider my life
worth nothing to me;
my only aim is to finish the race and
complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—
the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
(Acts 20:24 NIV)