A lot of people don’t believe in miracles and others don’t believe that miracles have happened since the resurrection occurred. Yet, it is extremely difficult to deny that miracles do happen. At the very least, extraordinary events take place that are tremendously difficult to explain. I’m talking about miracles that go way beyond that of childbirth and the like. Such an event happened this past weekend that I choose to think of as the grace of God. Regardless of the beliefs, I think that most people would understand that the result of the events are so unlikely that many people would have called it impossible if such a thing had been suggested before it happened. Let me first describe the events as best I can.
The couple is named Bill and Pattie. It should be mentioned that this couple are friends of mine and go to our church. Both habitually spend a great deal of time and effort helping people in our community. They help with many of the outreach ministries our church conducts, such as cooking at the soup kitchen that serves a delicious hot meal to up to 75-100 people every week. They help in many of the other outreach programs, too, donating time and money. Bill even cooks meals for the elderly in the convalescent center at our local hospital and reads to them. Bill and Pattie both belong to prayer groups who often meet to pray for people in need and who are suffering, regardless of their religion and even if they have no religion. Suffice to say that they help a lot of people without asking for anything in return. They simply follow what the bible says that good Christians should do and what Jesus said to do. Even people who aren’t Christian and who don’t know that this couple are, know that they are kind, loving and good people.
Bill and Pattie were returning home, driving their Ford pickup on one of the main roads in this part of Montana, when a SUV veered into their lane. There was no time to react. Both vehicles were travelling at the speed limit of 70 miles per hour. They collided head on. To imagine the impact, consider that it would have been like running into a brick wall at 140 mph (225 kph). Even well built vehicles aren’t designed to withstand such a huge impact.
The SUV instantly burst into flames and blasted flaming debris into the dried grass on either side of the road, immediately igniting it. The pickup also caught fire and the engine was thrown violently into the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If time could be frozen at that instant, most observers would understand that people simply don’t survive such a horrendous accident. Although Hollywood and other movie studios might make it seem like people can come out of something like that alive, it is so unlikely that police and ambulances that get a report of such an accident tend to figure that they will be using body bags and will have a gruesome task ahead.
That is where the miracle comes into play. Motorists naturally stopped and some of them pulled the driver out of the burning SUV. Others helped Bill and Pattie out of their crumpled pickup and one of them extinguished the flames in the pickup. Yet another fast thinking motorist was able to put out the grass fire, using a backhoe that amazingly just happened to be in the right place at the right time. A raging grass fire would have threatened many homes, people, livestock and forests and with most firefighting resources being used to fight a forest fire elsewhere, there is no doubt that there would have been a lot of destruction and probable loss of life if the fire hadn’t been put out quickly.
All three people were life-flighted by helicopter to the hospital. Astonishingly, all three were alive. The true story gets better.
As one can imagine, there were multiple broken bones that had to be dealt with;arms, legs, hips, ribs, collar bones, ankles, wrists, toes and more. However, unbelievably, none of the victims had life threatening injuries! All are expected to fully recover, though it is probably going to take three or four months for that to happen. There will be a lot of pain and rehabilitation involved, but all are quite thankful to be alive, naturally. It is incredible that anyone even survived the accident.
It was a case of the nearly impossible becoming reality. Personally, I would call that a miracle and to me, it reaffirms my faith. Bill would most likely say, “We’re alive by the grace of God.” He’d mean it.
Would you agree that this was a miracle or do you think that it was something else, like being extremely lucky?
Pictures by Jessica Peterson, secretary of Church on the Move, Assembly of God Church, Plains, MT