What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me
I felt a rush of adrenaline with my previous brushes with death (two near drownings have stuck to my mind like leeches from a murky-looking slough I swam in), but with the latest one, I had a delayed reaction. For it wasn’t until bedtime that it really sunk in. And then tears slipped out and soaked my pillow as I realized how close I’d come to leaving this planet I don’t call home.
Heaven is my home.
Don’t worry, I’m not in a hurry to get there; however, I’m not anxious about leaving my earthly life behind, either. In fact, the older I get, the more cautious I become—well…usually. I’ve also got no interest in suffering more than necessary. That’s why I hope my eventual exit won’t involve a horrific rendezvous with pain. And speaking of such…I think my son may very well have saved me from a painful death…
“Hurry!” he shouted.
A car honked at me as I walked across the last few paces of the four lane highway.
Like a deer with poor judgement, I assumed I had lots of time when I started crossing the road. A quick glance, earlier, told me the car was far enough away. But what I neglected to notice was how fast it was going. How fast it was coming. How fast my life was flashing before my eyes—before the driver’s eyes—before my son’s eyes.
Fortunately, I got out-of-the-way just in time. The poor driver didn’t have much room to maneuver as it swerved slightly towards the other lane where there was another car driving alongside of it.
Fear etched my son’s face like tire marks on a road. “It almost hit you! Why didn’t you run when I called?”
“I didn’t notice I was in danger. Until I heard you. Until I heard the car’s horn.”
My son and I headed towards the trail that follows Rosewall Creek. As we made our way down the steep gravel path, my feet slipped and I grabbed onto some bushes—just in time. I exhaled, relieved not to land on my already sore hips and sore tailbone that hadn’t aged as graciously as my still strong arms and legs.
It was going to be one of those just in time hikes.
Not sleeping well, or long enough, the night before, probably contributed to my lack of alertness. Guilt now plagued me for terrifying my son, for giving the driver gray hairs, and for almost causing an accident.
My son mentioned something about how scary it must be for parents to guide children near traffic. I nodded and suggested I probably needed to be led with a toddler leash. Then I reminded him about his own close encounter with a speeding truck.
It happened sixteen years earlier as we walked down a quiet country road to our school bus stop. A neighbor girl jumped out in front of him and blocked his passage as we approached the bus shelter. He dodged around her just as a truck zoomed by. The truck’s side mirror narrowly missed my young son’s head. My arms and hands—busy pushing a stroller and holding my infant daughter in a sling—weren’t quick enough to grab him in time.
We didn’t have a near-death experience in that spot again.
Fear is a good teacher if the student realizes death is a one-way door.
There aren’t any get-out-of-death-for-free-cards. Flesh-and-blood living isn’t a board game we can toss back into a box and start all over again. This is it—right now—this is your life. The choices we make, the things we believe, and who we trust in determine the final outcome of our souls.
When our bodies get placed into boxes or sprinkled across seas,
our souls will be sent into eternity to be with–or without–our Creator.
And here’s where I say what I learned after my latest brush with death. I learned I really do believe. I really do trust in God to keep my soul secure in Christ. For I know how stupid I can be with the least of things, never mind the big stuff. I can’t be trusted to cross a road safely.
But I’ve trusted what Jesus did on the cross.
He’s the bridge I’ve crossed in order to enter the sheepfold
of those Jesus calls His own.
Any day, and at any moment, we could be run over by any number of things. Heart attacks, cancer, strokes and the like don’t like us. They’re often silent killers who don’t honk horns and shout warnings of impending doom. The best soul insurance and—in the now—assurance is found through faith and trust in the One who has already suffered, died, and rose again so that we may have eternal life in Him.
Don’t wait for a near-death experience to get things in order. Sometimes people don’t get a second chance. Sometimes speeding cars doesn’t see, swerve, and save you.
But Jesus saves.
John 3:16 says so:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 NIV
I’d like to close with a short poem and a video of the waterfall:
Jesus is faithful to save
For He knows we’re far from Home
We’re lost—we’re doomed
Without His grace
But Love washed away the hate
When pierced Hands bled
So we can be called
Glad to be alive blessings ~ Wendy
What has a brush with death taught you? I’m nosy-to-know.