Summary: God knows all about pain. He experienced the pain of the cross so that we could have the ultimate victory over pain, sickness, suffering, and death. God can bring good, even out of suffering. God will be victorious in the end.
The phone rings in the middle of the night. A child is late coming home. Someone comes up to you and says, “I think you better sit down.” Someone comes into the store in which you’re shopping and have your hands full of merchandise and says, “We’ve got to go now…right now.” These are experiences that unnerve us. We have a nagging fear of tragic accidents. The possibilities of potential accidents are limitless:
• Our child is in a car accident.
• A motorcyclist hits some gravel and ends up laying his motorcycle down.
• A husband has a seizure at the top of the stairs and takes a brutal fall that causes massive injuries. (Or is pushed down the stairs depending on what you believe)
• A new teenaged driver loses control of his car and rolls it three times.
• A gun accidently goes off while someone is hunting or cleaning their gun.
• A drunk driver crosses lanes and drives head-on into another car.
• An entire town is almost completely wiped out by an F5 tornado.
Most of our fears are never realized. Fontaine sums them up maybe better than anyone when he says, “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes – most of which never happened.” Do you know what I’ve come to believe? I believe that if we live in slavery to the fear of accidents that might happen; our life would be pretty limited in activity. We wouldn’t ride in cars because they account for 20% of all fatal accidents. We wouldn’t travel by air, train, or water, because that’s where 16% of all accidents take place. We couldn’t even stay at home because 17% of all accidents happen there, and I can speak with authority on that subject because I’m in that 17%. By just walking down the street we’re in danger because 14% of all accidents happen to pedestrians. About the only safe place we can go would be church, where only one one-thousandth of 1% of all fatal accidents occur. So try to spend time at church whenever you can!
Let’s begin the message today by acknowledging the obvious.
Now I know that saying that and acknowledging that doesn’t make accidents any easier to deal with, but we might as well accept the fact that accidents will happen and have happened in our lives. That doesn’t take the pain out, and I’m not suggesting we casually blow them off by saying, “Well, that’s life. Que sera sera.” But the fact still stands that accidents happen.
Did you know that…
#1: Accidents Happen Throughout the Bible:
In 2 Samuel 18 Absalom was riding his mule, and when the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak tree, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding just kept on going.
In Luke 13:4 Jesus referred to 18 who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them.
In Acts 27 the apostle Paul and 275 other people were in a shipwreck on the Mediterranean Sea.
Acts 20 contains the story of Eutychus. He was attending a church service being held in a third-story room. Like many folks today, Eutychus fell asleep in church. The tragic part is Eutychus was sitting in the ledge of an open window. When he dozed off, he fell out of the window and plunged three stories to his death. He was in that one one-thousandth of 1%.
Poor Eutychus. He falls asleep on one of the greatest preachers in history, the apostle Paul; he falls from a window and dies; and it’s recorded in the Bible so that people can read about it 2,000 years later. What a legacy! Do you know how Eutychus got his name? You’d-of-cussed too if you’d have been killed by falling three stories from a window in church.
Now when Absalom got caught in the tree by his hair, when the tower of Siloam fell and killed 18 people, when Paul’s ship wrecked near the Island of Malta, and when Eutychus fell out of a window, we probably learn more by what isn’t said in those texts than we do by what is said.
• There’s no theological explanation given for these accidents.
• There’s no mention that the victims were being punished for anything.
They were accidents, just as the term implies. Accidents happen.
We’ve all had our fender benders. They happened so fast that we hardly knew what happened. Have you ever had to fill out an insurance form and write down in just a few words a summary of a traffic accident? I want to share with you some explanations that people gave in trying to summarize their accidents.