As most of you know, I had a rather serious accident last week. One that could have been fatal. I haven’t blogged about it because I have been processing it. I tend to analyze everything and I have spent the past week going over this accident in my mind. The truth of the matter is that it was my fault. I made a bad choice and did something stupid, however I thank God that he sent me a rescue.
We all make thousands of choices everyday and we don’t even realize it. I never dreamed that my choice would land me at the feet of Jesus-crying out for a rescue. It is the things unforeseen that hold our lives in the balance. Until something like this happens we don’t really think about it. I didn’t. It happened in a split second. A split second. KABOOM! The blood that gives life was rushing out of me.
( pieces of glass we found in the yard from the exploding jug-notice one of them is in the shape of a heart!)
Let me stop here and thank God for Joe Stilwell’s obedience because last year I took a CPR/First Aid class through our church. Joe was our teacher. I had no idea that I would be using that information this soon. Joe-your class and obedience has made a difference in my life and I thank you dear brother. Keep pressing on with the classes-even if there’s only one person there. YOU have made a difference for me and my family. Thank you!
I keep hearing the words, “you’re making a big deal out of nothing…” but you know what? Those words are coming from the dark side. Why? Because the darkness doesn’t want the light revealed. The light shows the Truth. Satan wants to keep people in the deep, dark recesses of his evil lair where it’s cold and lonely-in the absence of God. I don’t want to be there, do you? I have asked myself over and over again, how will God use this accident? I am here today to share what God has revealed to me through circumstances, people and the church. Every single thing that we do DOES matter and whether you choose to believe it is up to you. God didn’t will my accident-that’s why it is called an accident. I made a bad choice. However, God WILL USE this accident to glorify his Name.
I have found myself in a spiritual struggle in the past month. At Easter I was on a high from all of our services, Holy Week, and a number of other events. I was on the mountain top. We all have to come down from the mountain at some point and I guess May was my month to do that. I have felt this push-pull-stretch-groan-moan in my walk with Christ. I have been complacent, lazy and maybe even “myopic” as a friend says. I thought I was just “taking a break”- like a day off-but honestly when we walk with Christ- there are no days off. We can rest and get revived-but we still have to be on the watch. I have had to be honest with myself about issues of judging, loving and commitment. Not to mention discipline. ha. The fact of the matter is I can’t do these things without Jesus-no one can-and we are all in this together. I constantly find myself wanting to be in control instead of letting God do the controlling. This is where that struggle comes from. I say, ” give me the reins, let me do it…” He says, ” no, these belong to me and I’m going to do it…”
Before my accident happened, I had been praying to be drawn closer to God and for Him to reveal His plan for my life to be in ministry to Him. That whole morning I prayed as I worked and I even got a phone call from the District Superintendent, Meg Taylor. She called to ask me if I would be interested in attending a Leadership Training and to represent the laity in our district. This is what she said to me, ” Donna, your name came to my mind and I wanted to call and ask you if you’d be interested…” I immediately told her I would. I knew it was from God. I mean how many times does the DS call your house? Not many if you are a lay person. I thanked God for this learning opportunity that he placed in my lap. I puttered around in the yard and then went to clean out the garage. We recycle and I was sorting cans, plastic and glass as I cleaned. Well, I decided to clean out the refrigerator and in it there was a brown jug that I wanted to empty out. I couldn’t get the top off of it so i thought, “well I’ll break the neck off with a hammer.” So I took it outside and hit the neck with a hammer and it went KABOOM! The next thing I knew I had this searing pain in my arm. I looked down only to see that I was bleeding quite profusely. I grabbed the wound with my other hand, applied pressure and ran into the house to call 911. I knew it was bad. I was home alone. I tried to grab the phone to push 911 and dropped it. I had to hold my arm and call 911 at the same time. Blood was dripping all over the phone and that made it slippery. It was also all over the floor and counter. I knew it was urgent that I get 911. I tried again and on the third try I laid the phone on the counter, pushed 911 with my bloody fingers and then laid my head on the phone so I could talk-the whole time I’m trying to hold my wound, blood was everywhere. I told the man on the other end what had happened and by this time I was pretty frantic. I begged him to come quick. After the call ended I grabbed a towel from the kitchen and wrapped my arm with it, applying pressure again. When I released the pressure to put the towel on, blood gushed everywhere. By now I am on the porch. I thought, “am I going to bleed to death on my porch?” Then i had all of these thoughts of the kids, my family, friends, life, even the dog. My life really did flash before me in that moment. I began to pray, over and over again, just crying out to God for a rescue. I didn’t want to die. But I knew if I did, I’d be going to heaven. A choice I had made a long time ago.
It was about 10 minutes or less when the ambulance arrived…it seemed like hours to me. The first person I saw was Andy Utt. I knew him from the Wellness Center. I was immediately comforted by his familiar face. Then came Melanie Boyles with her sweet smile and comforting words of kindness and compassion. She kneeled down in front of me and said, “i’ve got to look at this…” She took the towel off and the blood geysered out of my arm. It scared me to pieces. Melanie kept her cool, but a look passed between Andy and Melanie and they hustled me into the ambulance. Andy went in the house and when he came out he said, ” she’s lost a lot of blood.” Then I got nervous. They made a few phone calls and the next thing I knew there were two more people there. One was giving me an IV. That was Mike Parris. The other guy I never saw. I only heard his voice. While in the ambulance I became very frightened that I was going to die. Melanie had a death grip on my arm-to stop the flow of blood. I asked them all if I was going to bleed to death and they all replied, ” not on our watch.”
NOT ON OUR WATCH.
I keep hearing these words over and over again and I am reminded of Ezekiel who was called to be the Watchman for his day. It’s funny how God works, but back in March I had been studying about Ezekiel and I worked with Martin Slate as he preached a sermon on this very topic. He preached- I drew. Ezekiel speaks to me loud and clear and I believe this is the message that I am to share with people today.
Ezekiel 3: 17 says: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.” In Chapter 2 God tells Ezekiel to “eat this scroll.” The scroll was filled with words from God-written on both sides. Normally a scroll was only written on one side. This particular scroll was saturated with words of God’s judgment. Ezekiel was told to eat the scroll and his job was to tell the people how displeased God was with thier behavior.
Psalm 19: 10-11 says: ( Message)
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
God’s Word is our guide, a lighthouse. It lights the way in a dark and dreary world. Without this Light our lives are cold and lonely. This Light warns us of the danger around us. Once we see the danger then we can choose to avoid it. But WE have to make that choice! God gave us free will so that we would come to Him on our own. He does not want to force us like a bully, rather he wants us to come willingly. This is why we have free will. He places the options before us and we make the choices. He says, “follow me and you will receive eternal life.” or go the other way and you will be apart from me. A lonely place.
In Matthew 24:42 Jesus tells us this: Therefore keep watch because you do not know what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
We MUST keep watch and be prepared. Our time is very short. My accident has convicted me of this fact. We never know what is around the corner and we must prepare ourselves for eternity, NOW. If we wait, it will be too late. We must prepare ourselves, our families and those people we don’t even know. We must go out and be a watchman for the world. We must share the love of Christ with everyone we meet-not just those we are comfortable with. My friend Susan Clark says, ” God comforts the disturbed and he disturbs the comfortable.” My life has been disturbed by a choice I made. It was a stupid choice that could have easily ended my life. God rescued me by sending me compassionate, kind, and prepared rescue people. When they arrived, they saw my desperation, they did not judge my actions, they covered me with compassion, love and wisdom. They picked me up and took me through it. They didn’t leave me alone to die, they were filled with an urgency that meant this is “life or death.” Are we filled with that urgency for the people around us? Think about this for a minute: these rescue workers came to my home, not knowing anything about me. I was a stranger to them. ( Although I did know Andy.) They didn’t stop and say, ” oh, well, she made a stupid choice, we can’t help her today. Let’s just let her die. So sad, too bad.” Isn’t that what we do when we choose NOT to share the gospel with people?????????? Isn’t sharing Jesus, our one true love, a way of showing people how much we love them? We want them with us when we all get to go to heaven. We want that tight bond of loving unity in the heavenlies with our Lord and Savior. I cannot bear the thought of anyone being apart from God when they die. What a cold and lonely place that will be. Believe me you, I thought about that as I sat on the porch with blood gushing out of my wound. I was placed at the feet of Jesus in an instant. An instant. I cannot stress that urgency enough. We can pick and choose who we share Jesus with, however-I believe we will also have to answer for those choices. Just like I had to answer for mine.
My ride to the ER was swift and fast. Andy drove the van and each time he would turn or come to a dip in the road, he would let us know his maneuver. He was preparing us for the turn. You know, God does this for us every single day of our lives. Do we see it? Do we realize it? A lot of times we don’t. Why? Because we aren’t “in tune” with our driver. God has given us a book to prepare us for life here and life in eternity. We can choose to read it, or ignore it. We can choose to heed the warnings or dismiss them. The choices are ours. They are personally up to us. No one can make them for us. Just as I chose to hit the jug with a hammer. In an instant I was in the worst danger of my life. 30 years ago I chose Christ. I didn’t really understand it at the time, but I certainly do now and now I choose Christ everyday and it is because of that choice that I am assured of where I will be going when I die. So, if I had died-the choice I made 30 years ago, an eternal one in heaven, would have taken me home to be with Lord. I thank God that I didn’t bleed to death and that I had such devoted rescue workers. Workers who were not going to let me die “on thier watch.”
So, what are you doing on your watch? Where are people going? Have you shared the life saving message of Jesus with anyone lately? I urge you to follow the commands of Jesus. His last words on earth were ” go and make disciples of all nations…” ( Matthew 28:19) I encourage you today to help someone in distress…because everyone of us is in our own mess. Let’s get out there and help people through it ! We all need a rescue! A rescue filled with compassion, love and mercy.
Thank you Lord Jesus for saving my soul and for sending such wonderful rescue workers to help me through my mess!
Thank you Carroll County EMS for saving my life. Melanie, Andy and Mike- you have all been given the gift of compassion by our Lord. When I saw you, I saw the eyes of Christ in each one of you. I will never forget what each of you did for me that day. God knew who to send and what each of you could do to help me. God bless you all as you continue to serve our community in this manner. Thank you for my speedy life saving rescue. I love you all.