Just yesterday (5/25/2018), I was involved in an accident at my part-time job. Currently, I work a couple of days a week, alongside being in ministry, to support my wife in her endeavors of becoming a nurse.
One of the ways our company disposes of papers of detailed information regarding our company is to burn said papers. Thus, I was responsible yesterday for burning the papers. And to make a long story much shorter, I used gasoline to start this fire. Our company is located in the midst of many soy bean and rice fields which results in an almost constant blowing wind. Therefore, it is almost impossible to start a fire with something like newspaper or something of the sort.
I ended up pouring some gasoline on what I thought was an almost put out fire and unbeknownst to me, it was still going which resulted in the wind blowing the fire up the spout of my gasoline can and caught it on fire. After some actions of panick, I ended up with gasoline on my shoe and my shoe catching on fire. The result was nearly third degree burns from my ankle to around my mid-shin area.
In all sincerity, I was very fortunate to not obtain much worse injuries than I have. I can still walk, run, and use my leg/ankle in all capacities.
But I also learned a few things through this incident that I’d like to share:
- I’m thankful I’m not going to be eternal separated from God in Hell. I know this seems trivial, but after feeling that flame on my leg for what seemed like forever, I am thankful for my salvation. I know Hell is named the “Lake of Fire” in the Scriptures (Rev. 20:15), and I understand the extent of the torture in Hell is the wrath of God being poured out for all of eternity. However, if there is any significance to burning when it comes to eternal separation from God, I’m thankful I do not have to experience this because of what Christ has done for me on the cross of Calvary by shedding his blood for me.
- God can use unbelievers in your life for your good. A couple of the men with which I work are not believers. It was only by the grace of God they were out there with me when this happened. In fact, to make God’s grace even more present, they had not even clocked back in from their lunch break when the incident happened. In Romans, Paul wrote that God is working together “in all things” for our good (Rom. 8:28). I believe this can even include those who want nothing to do with God.
- Life is precious. Too many things have run through my mind as I have recalled the incident. I’ve thought about what would’ve happened if I would’ve been alone or if I would’ve been wearing pants instead of shorts. I could’ve sustained injuries so much worse than what I received and life’s worth is so precious to me. I’m thankful to be living today by the grace of God.
- Life is also short. I cannot neglect the reality that my life could’ve ended yesterday. Looking back, it seems as if it would have been a long shot to say such a thing, but it was most definitely a possibility. All of us are unsure of when our time on earth will end and all of us will die at some point (Ecc. 3:2). Yes, I am ready to meet Jesus and to spend eternity with Him, but I am thankful He has allowed me not to leave my family in that type of situation.
- My Christian witness was seen through this incident.. With all the adrenaline rushing through my body at the time of the accident, there are many things I do not remember. In fact, I have injuries on my other leg and have no idea from where they came. It would have been very easy to me to speak in an ungodly way or to react in such a way that would not glorify the Lord, and thankfully this was not so for me. The other, unbelieving men witnessed me in an incident and I pray God uses it to convict their hearts of their need for him.
Too many thoughts to write and too many to wrestle with in one post. However, I am grateful to God for allowing me the opportunity to live and see more days ahead. Although this event was most definitely minor, for the most part, it had the potential of being life-threatening. The Lord’s righteous hand protected me and the others around and I am forever grateful to Him.