In 1 Thessalonians 4 it says, we will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
This verse is referring to the second coming, but I have already met the Lord in the air.
My dad was a wonderful man and a great father. He would take me skiing, sledding boating and fishing. We went hiking together. He helped me build a go-cart. We went swimming together almost every day in the summertime. We played basketball, baseball and horseshoes together. He read the Bible to us at every meal. He gave me a great education. We spent a lot of time together and had a lot of fun but the best thing he ever did for me was to fall asleep when he was driving.
At the time I was a commercial photographer. I was taking pictures of Presidents, premiers, prime ministers, captains of industry, and beautiful models. I was living life in the fast lane. It was party time, all the time. I had gotten pretty far from God.
Mom, Dad, my sister Marg, my wife Diane and I had spent the day walking on the beach along Lake Michigan. On the way home Dad fell asleep at the wheel. The car started to drift across the lanes of the highway. I tried to reach over from the back seat to grab the steering wheel but got thrown back into my seat when the car went off the road into the median. I thought we would just be able to ride it out until the car came to a stop. However, there was a ravine that cut across the median. The car flew seventy feet through the air. I figured this wasn’t going to end well. I yelled out, “Jesus.” I’m not sure that if anyone heard me they could tell if I was cursing or praying. But, in that moment I felt the peace of God that passes all understanding. I felt that I was in the palm of God’s hand. Then He took me and said “Wake up son.” And He flung me against the other side of the ravine.
My father ended up with a broken sternum and 7 broken ribs. My mother had her left arm broken above the wrist. Her right arm was broken near the shoulder. Her right hip was broken and her ankles were so smashed up the doctors thought they would have to amputate her feet. My wife had two vertebrae that were pulverized. She had bone chips in her spinal cord and the doctors were afraid she might never walk again. They had to put stainless steel rods twelve inches long into her back to hold her spine in place and they had to do bone grafts. She was in a body cast for 14 months. I ended up with a broken nose and 2 broken vertebrae.
While we were in the hospital, a minister stopped by and said, “You knowin all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I almost threw him out the window.
At that point I couldn’t see it, but that accident was the best thing that ever happened to me. It turned my life around 180 degrees.
The Bible says that the Lord disciplines those he loves and that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Well, that accident was unpleasant and painful but it produced a harvest of peace in my life. (I think God is still working on the righteousness part.)
But, now I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes.
So that’s the story of how I met the Lord in the air.
If you are going through unpleasant or painful times remember that the Lord disciplines those He loves. You may not understand the purpose of your suffering and it may take some time for the results to appear, but read your Bible because grace and peace can be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
So, considering all the wonderful things my father has done for me through the years, the best thing he ever did for me was to fall asleep at the wheel. My Dad passed away two years ago and now I anxiously await that glorious day when my Dad and I will meet again at Jesus feet.371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c