Posted by: Mike Willoughby | March 30, 2010

Thank you, Lord!

The title of this blog, Intersections, signifies the many ways in which our faith intersects the normal events of our life.  In this article, the term “intersections” takes on a whole new meaning for me.

It was Tuesday morning, November 21, 2006.  We received one of those calls parents dread – the one after a car accident.  I could only hear Kristal’s side of the conversation as she talked to Lyndon.  Are you OK?  Is Matthew OK?  Is that an ambulance I hear in the background?  We’ll be right there!

Lyndon was driving his Mustang to school with Matthew in the passenger seat around 7:45 in the morning.  A long stretch of this drive is along US 380 through McKinney and Prosper and the speed limit is 65 miles per hour.  As Lyndon was traveling west-bound with the sun rising to his back, a gentleman in a small pickup truck pulled out from a side street directly into oncoming traffic and at the last minute he seemed to become aware of the red Mustang flying toward him and he swerved slightly into the traffic as Lyndon also tried to swerve.  Because of these two instinctive responses, the Mustang struck the pickup a glancing blow rather than a head-on crash making contact on Lyndon’s passenger front bumper and fender.  Both airbags deployed in the Mustang and the car somehow stayed in the west-bound lane and skidded to a rest on the shoulder without involving any of the cars around him and without swinging into oncoming traffic on the busy highway.  The Mustang was totaled in the 65mph collision but both of my boys walked away without a scratch.  We even dropped them both off at school after finishing up at the scene of the accident.  And then we cried.  The recollection of the accident makes me cry today.  Circumstances could have been so different.

It was Thursday afternoon, March 18, 2010.  We received that call again.  Kristal came out of the house saying Lyndon had been in an accident and he needed me.  She told me he was OK.  Lyndon was home from ACU for the weekend and was headed to school around 3:30 to pick Jackson up from chorus practice.  Lyndon entered the intersection at FM1461 and Preston Rd. in Prosper when another car headed north-bound on Preston ran the red light and struck Lyndon’s blue Mustang on the driver’s side front fender.  The north-bound car left over 100 feet of skid marks behind as it struck Lyndon’s car still going over 20mph according the police officer’s estimate.  After I arrived at the scene and while waiting for a tow truck, we watched as the police officer arrested the other driver for driving under the influence of a controlled substance after they searched his car.  The Mustang has significant damage (at least $3000 is the current estimate) but once again my boy walked away from this accident without a scratch.  Kristal arrived as the tow truck was pulling the blue Mustang onto the flatbed and she took Lyndon home while I went on to the school to pick Jackson up.  There was more crying.  Circumstances could have been so different.

So to my God and Father: For all you have done, I will thank you.  I know your hand was in these events and I thank you for saving my children.  If you had taken either of them or both, I would be at peace knowing where they are both going and knowing we will all be together with you soon.  However, I thank you for leaving them safe and healthy with us and sparing us the pain of separation.  Thank you, Lord!

Why write this article today?  Partly because I wanted to finish the How are you? series last Tuesday without interruption.  Partly because I wasn’t in shape to write about this only a few days after this last accident.  However, I’m now happy that I waited a week to write.  As part of dealing with the emotions of these accidents, I can’t help but think about “what if.”  What if I had lost a son in one of these accidents?  The thought is almost too painful to ponder.  And yet I have a Father who not only pondered the loss of a son, he willingly embraced that loss and chose to sacrifice his son for me.  Would I sacrifice my son for any of you?  Not a chance!  However, having been given a chance to face the reality of possibly losing a son to an accident, I can at least in some very small way begin to comprehend the grief and pain my heavenly father must have suffered when he chose to let his son die for my sins.  For that small comprehension and small sharing in your suffering, I thank you Father.

Most importantly, on this week when the world stops to remember the sacrifice of the cross and the victory of the open tomb, I pause to thank God and his son, my savior Jesus Christ for saving me from myself.

For all you have done, I will thank you.  For all you are going to do.  For all you have promised and all that you are is all that has carried me through.  Jesus I thank you!

Thank you, Lord!

Until next week,

Meet me at the intersection!


Responses

  1. Mike, I think my mom is still working though her emotions thinking that John and Presley were at home when the fire destroyed their home. My heart hurts to think of the pain that you, Kristal, and my mom feel about the what if’s..However, as you stated, we are thankful for God’s povidence and His plan for all His children.
    Peace, Jason

  2. I join you in your gratitude to God for Lyndon’s (twice) and Matthew’s safety and protection during those two accidents; grateful that they will continue to be a blessing to your family and to so many others. Thanks for reminding us of the Father’s unfathomable love in the sacrifice of His Son for us.

  3. Just yesterday I sent a note to my pastor that basically said… sometimes we don’t know why God does or doesn’t allow something. As you know, last year my church made its 4th trip to Russia to visit the orphans we sponsor. This year we could not manage for many reasons to get a team over. Last year around this time we would be kicking in to high gear for our April departure. Yesterday on the front page of Yahoo was the bombing in the Moscow subway that we all stood in last year, and every year before as part of the last day tour for the team. I looked at the photo and said… Thank you Abba Father for your provision of safety! I then sent my pastor a note with the link and said… As further affirmation of what we are learning in the bible study Experiencing God… God is always at work around us! Always! Always!
    I have no doubt the Lord would be protecting us when we go, as He always does… but it could be very possible that not being able to go this year was and is that very same protection.
    And then today – your post was spot on what the Lord has been revealing to me the past few days. God’s timing is perfect (as usual)
    I am so glad your boys have been and remain under His protection! Thank you for your words of wisdom!

  4. Mike, The Good Lord is watching over you and your family! Bruce

  5. Mike,
    Great, emotion evoking reminder of God’s care. AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!
    RB

  6. I’ll never forget Max Lucado’s “Grip of Grace” section where he was talking about one of his kid’s who almost drown in their pool but was found just in time.

    Max was up the next morning praising God for saving his child and he felt that still, small voice say to him “Would you still be praising me if the child had died?”. Ouch, right to the heart!

    My sister’s only son dying in a car wreck at age 16 has definitely given me some insight into the grief of a parent who loses a child and the struggle of faith and life that follows. No easy answers except to cling to the One who is the Answer.

    Death is the last enemy to be put under His feet and what a great and happy day that will be, when the resurrection is full and complete! When those who have been taken “too soon” (from our perspective) are re-united with those of us who have missed them so dearly.

    I know we’ve talked about this topic many times but this post reminded me of what a glorious event we celebrate this week. Thanks for taking time to post a reminder of where the Christian hope rests, in the resurrected Christ!

    • Amen, Roy! I couldn’t have said it better. Thanks for expanding the post and enhancing the message!

  7. Your post today brought fresh tears–both for your child, that I love more than life and also for my child. I, too would never sacrifice one of my children for anyone else and I have pondered since the day you were born how God could make such a sacrifice. I have concluded that since I know I would sacrifice anything for my children I could then understand that God would make any sacrifice for His children—all His children. He also knew that in very short time He and Christ would be united, much as you have said about your sons.

    The man that hit the Mustang that day risked the physical life of a child we so love, but Lyndon knows what spiritual wellness means and that this man couldn`t touch that. The man had a four year old boy with him who may never know about the wonders of God. Unfortunately he has a dad that is making choices that risk his life. Your child has been blessed by parents that care about his spiritual health as well as his physical well being. It is sad to me that every child doesn`t enjoy such care.
    I love you

  8. Mike, thank you for this! It touched a painful place inside me of similar circumstances where my children have been involved in accidents. One incident in particular with Susan was extremely traumatic. As a mother, it still brings me to my knees in gratitude to my Father who listened and answered my cries during those times, and still does! I’ve lost a family member from an auto accident, so I know that it can happen. It just makes me pray fervently for the safety and protection of the ones I love. I’ve thought many times of the love God has for me, love that gave his only son to die for me–a sinner!! That kind of love is inconceivable to my human brain, and yet it is exactly that kind of love which totally and eternally changes my life. Praise God Almighty!!!


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