As you may already know, I have spent the past week in “Sin City.” I never would have imagined when I wrote this column a week ago that I would end up in Las Vegas within a few days, and spend nearly a week here. But as the old saying goes, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
You probably are aware that one of our Shelby Crossings elders, Mark Young, and his family, were in a horrific auto accident last Saturday evening on their way back from visiting family in California. A tire blew on their SUV as they traveled down the interstate in the desert near the California/Arizona state line, and their vehicle flipped several times. Two of their children were ejected from the vehicle–and miraculously walked away. Mark had to be cut out of the passenger seat and was airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas. He suffered a broken neck, severe lacerations on his head and burns on his arm and hand, and had to undergo several surgeries this week. He is still in the Trauma ICU, but by God’s grace, he is on his way down the long road to recovery.
With the help of some generous friends, my wife Nan and I came out to Las Vegas on Monday to be here to support Mark and Maribel and offer help with the logistics of trying to get things settled so far from home. Along the way, we have watched our church family 2,000 miles away pull together to pray for and support the Young family in a way that has truly honored the Lord. In case you haven’t seen it, you can check out the details in the “Praying for Mark and Maribel Young” group on Facebook. In that light, let me say, on behalf of Mark and Maribel and the kids, thanks so much for your intercession, for your financial support, and for your expressions of love and encouragement. You have been such a blessing.
Earlier today, I had a conversation with Mark, who was recounting what he remembered from the accident, during the time he was moving in and out of consciousness. He remembered being awakened by the sound of them cutting through the top of the Excursion to extract him from the vehicle, and the thought occurred to him that it didn’t sound like the sound of heaven, so he must still be alive! Accordingly, he thought, God must still have him around for a reason. Much of what we’ve talked about the last few days has been what that reason migh be.
When you think about it, I guess that’s true for all of us, isn’t it? God still has us around for a reason, because He still desires to accomplish His purpose in, and through, our lives. The question all of us must ask, and answer, is…what’s that purpose? Why in His sovereignty, has God left me here, and how can I serve Him while I’m still here?
Thank God that He has preserved Mark’s life–and please pray that He continues His work of healing for him in this difficult time. And don’t miss the lesson from this teachable moment, as you serve the Lord this week.
I count it a privilege and a joy to be your pastor, and I look forward to returning home on Friday, and to seeing each of you on Sunday.