You Do Not Know

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. (James 4:13-14)

Life can change in a split second, circumstances in the blink of an eye.

On April 25th, a woman and her husband were traveling on a county road on their way to a friend’s place when the driver of another vehicle ran a stop sign and hit them in the passenger side, killing the woman who was riding there and seriously injuring himself and the other driver.

On May 6th, a woman and her three young children were traveling along in their minivan when the driver of another vehicle blew through a stop sign, killing two of the children, hospitalizing the third, and seriously injuring the woman.

We all hear stories like this all too frequently; and sometimes they hit all too close to home. The first accident happened just miles from where I grew up and involved three people whom I’ve known all my life. The second accident happened just miles from where I live now and involved people from our city. I am certain that when these people woke up on the morning of their accidents, they had no idea that their lives were going to be drastically altered–or even ended–that day. I am certain that on the day before, they had no idea what their lives would be like “tomorrow.”

On May 16th, my husband and some friends from our small group were at the park playing catch with a football. The ladies and I were under the picnic shelter visiting when I looked up to see my husband walking towards us with a grimace on his face. A pass intended for my husband had fallen short, and the football had bounced up into his pinkie finger, bending it backwards and breaking it. My husband had been looking forward to playing pick-up basketball at our church later that night. Instead, he ended up at home on the couch with a splint and an ice pack. We had no idea when we were heading to the park for some food and fellowship that afternoon that Travis would be coming home with a broken finger that evening. We did not know what life would be like “tomorrow.”

This morning, June 3rd, my mom was heading to town for a doctor’s appointment. She had just come through a small town on a two-lane highway, passed by a bridge banister, and increased her speed from 45 mph to 65 mph. Up ahead she noticed a lineup of 10 or 12 vehicles coming from the opposite direction; and she also saw that a semi truck was pulled over on the right-hand shoulder. As she was approaching this semi, the careful driver that she is, she was watching to make sure it wasn’t going to pull back out onto the highway in front of her. When she turned her eyes back to the road in front of her 3 or 4 seconds later, she discovered that the pickup she had been following had come to a complete stop on the highway as he waited for all the oncoming traffic to pass so that he could make a left-hand turn. Traveling at 65 mph and with not more than 20-30 feet of highway between her and the pickup, she made the split-second decision to veer around the pickup on the right side. As she whizzed by the stopped pickup, her car went into a fishtail… and then into a second, bigger fishtail. The rumble bars on the side of the highway were roaring against her tires; and as her car started into a third, even bigger fishtail, she knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that she was going to die. Her life flashed before her eyes, as they say, and she thought to herself, “Is Dad going to be okay?” and “I’m never going to see my kids and grandkids again.” And she was filled with a great peace. Just then, everything went completely silent. The deafening noise of the tires stopped, and as if God Himself had placed His hands on her car, the car was picked up off the shoulder where it was ready at any moment to begin flipping, and it was placed directly back on the highway, straight on its course and under complete control. And at that moment, Mom knew that God had spared her life.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. If He doesn’t spare your life, will you be ready to meet Jesus?…

11 Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    Wow, thank you for the great reminder! I want to live like everyday is my last.

  2. Amber Flinn says:

    I’m so glad God is in the business of rescuing his children. And I’m glad he rescued your mom. :)

  3. Stephanie says:

    Wow…thank you for sharing this truth today and praise God for sparing your mom.

  4. Today was a reminder for me that every moment we have is a gift from God. He absolutely, without a doubt, spared me today. I pray that I will know, also without a doubt, what it is that He has yet for me to do. Believe me, after today’s incident, I’m ready to get “on that job.” No time to linger. We aren’t here to do whatever, we have a purpose and I don’t want to let God down. He never let’s me down.

  5. Stefanie says:

    Wow…these last two months have been crazy with accidents and deaths. Not not long after my parents’ accident, a lady was driving to work with her three young children and was hit by another vehicle. They are all ok, but I tend to worry just a little more when I hear a siren in town now. Earlier this week Elliot’s cousin committed suicide. I’m so glad your mom was not hurt. I talked to your dad this afternoon when I was filling up with gas in Norton and he didn’t even mention it! As many people have reminded me since that life changing day in April, God will not give us more than we can handle and that has helped me get through some of the really tough days.

  6. What a GREAT post! I just read that verse this morning, but when you put together what you did in your post it just makes that verse come alive. I’ve been recently feeling the very same way with the family from Ankeny, then the Rickett’s little boy and just various other things that are all around me. I’m so glad your mom is okay, what an amazing testimony of what God did for her; it will be very hard to argue that that was just a coincidence or luck. Thanks for the great reminder!

  7. Whoa! What an emotion inducing post! Don’t we all just forget this truth? I loved the reminder, thank you.

    congratulations on 5 years and your beautiful family. Maybe I have told you this before, but one of my sweet little girls is Isabella Hope, I call her Belly
    šŸ˜‰ ever since she was a newborn. i loved the name Isabel too.

  8. Camille says:

    So true! May the LORD continue to help us day by day to keep HIM FIRST and follow Him with all our hearts. How amazing the story is about your Mom! God does all things well and even when we don’t understand, all things DO work together for good to those that love God. HE will NEVER give more than we can handle WITH HIM!

    Blessings,
    Camille

  9. Lisa Festus says:

    Wow Angela! My heart hurt, raced and rested while reading this. Thankful my dear cousin with whom I barely really know, but know that I love…could have been taken that day. I am thankful and grateful to God for His interception and mercy on your Mom’s life. Thank you for sharing Angela. I hope one day to meet you and your family. Life flies by way too quickly. God bless!

    1. @Lisa FestusĀ Amen, Lisa! This story truly shows the goodness, mercy, and nearness of God. Praise be to Him! Thanks for the comment!