Be ready—even when you don't know why


By Jessica Brodie

Ever experience something you’re just certain must be a message from God, only you can’t figure out what the message is?

That’s what happened to me this week. For the second time in less than seven days, I found myself on the roadside of an interstate to help a victim of a bad car accident.

The saga: On Friday night, my husband and I were carefree and happy, zipping along the interstate out of town for a romantic getaway. Then, just ahead of us, we saw brake lights—and realized something bad had just happened.

That “something bad” turned out to be two tractor-trailers and a tiny car flipped upside down, nearly crushed.

My heart caught—this was bad. Really bad.

And there was not an ambulance in sight.

We pulled over and dashed to the scene, where others were already there to help. It turned out to be a single driver who’d somehow managed to pull himself partially out of his mangled car. My husband and I pitched in. With others, he helped get the man to the side of the road. Some others and I knelt with the man, assessing his injuries and helping to calm him until paramedics arrived.

Miraculously, other than a badly wounded hand and contusions on his head, the man seemed relatively OK. There were no other victims. He knew enough to tell us his name, his age, where he lived, and the names and ages of his young children. I asked if I could pray with him, and he said “please, yes,” and so I had the chance to pray with him as we waited for more experienced help to arrive.

It was beautiful the way regular people stopped what they were doing to help a fellow human in need, and we were blessed to be able to experience this.

When crews arrived, my husband and I headed north again on our getaway, this time shaken and filled with prayer for the man and how quickly and horribly bad things can happen.

It would have been scary and heart-wrenching enough had that been the first accident I’d come upon that week, but this was in fact the second. In both, I was on the scene before fire and rescue arrived. In both, the vehicles were upside down and crumpled, and in both instances I was floored that the drivers were not only alive but also not severely injured. (Read my devotional on the first accident in “Close Calls,” here.)

Surely, God put me in both of those situations for a reason. And this week, I’m still trying to make sense of why. Was it to be God’s hands and feet there to help others in His name? Was it a warning to be extra careful in our own driving? Was it to remind us of how short life can be, and how we must always be ready for this day to be our last day on earth? Was it a lesson in gratitude?

I don’t know the answer. But I do know tragedies can happen so quickly. Life can change so fast.

The one sure thing is God—with us, in us, above us, and around us.

“Be ready,” echoes in my soul.

I close with the same verses I mention in last week’s devotional: “You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes,” says James 4:14 (ESV), and in Acts 1:7, Jesus reminds his apostles, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

Be ready. Love each other.

And do God’s will. Even if you don’t know why, He does.

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