In the last two weeks, there have been two incidents that have changed the lives of two families that we are very close to.
First of all, two weeks ago, our grandson, Jonathan, and his wife of six weeks were on their way home from a movie in Kansas City, Mo. Just as they drove up on the freeway, a 14-year-old boy ran across the freeway and ran into their car. Jonathan got out of his car and ran back to see if he was OK. Immediately, he knew the boy was dead. All at once, a large black man appeared out of nowhere and stood by the boy and said, "Boy, if you have never thought about your relationship with God, this is the time to do it."
Jonathan looked down and saw his side begin to move. Could that man have been an angel sent from God because of the prayers of his family?
The police came and they took the boy to the hospital. The hospital put him on life support for two days and then called in the family and said there was no hope. They disconnected the life support, and he was already dead.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in Kansas City, Mo., but the ironic thing is my grandson knew his family. His mother had been in our daughter and son-in-law's youth group 20 years ago. They were also friends with his grandparents who are Christians and had prayed for their family.
This boy had been with a group of his friends and they had tried to get into a movie. They weren't able to, so they decided to cross the freeway and go to McDonald's. Several months ago, the police put up a fence so kids couldn't cross the freeway and this boy jumped over it and hit Jonathan's car.
Then, last Monday in Buckhannon, the son of some very good friends of ours was killed by a hit and run driver while riding his bike. His parents had just brought him to college a month ago from Ohio.
Daniel Duncan was an exceptional young man with such a bright future. He had received a scholarship for music and also a academic scholarship. The day they took him to school his dad, Rob, called us and ask if we would stay in touch with him.
There was a memorial service for Daniel on Tuesday at the chapel. The students and faculty had only known him a month, but he had already made a very lasting impression on them. His dad spoke and ask everyone to pray with him for the man who killed his son. They he told the crowd that he was going to the regional jail and tell the man he forgave him and tell him what kind of a young man Daniel was.
With Jonathan and Daniel both, they were "at the wrong place at the wrong time," or so it seems.
These situations will have a profound effect on their families for the rest of their lives. Psalms 34:18 says, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
The Bible says, "Think it not strange the fiery trials that have come upon you as if some strange thing were happening to you" (I Peter 4:12) .
Bad things happen to good people.
Life is so short and God has given us all a certain amount of time. What are we doing with our lives? I have really been thinking about this and wonder if my life has had a positive effect on anyone. Sometimes we are so busy with the cares of this world that we forget there are needs all around us.
This may seem like an unusual article, but I really believe there is a moral to this story. There are so many wonderful people around us everyday. I have decided to ask God each morning to not let me miss an opportunity to be a blessing in some way.
Also, it is very important to pray for God's protection on our families everyday.
(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)