A few years back, probably around 2002/2003, the youth church I was attending at the time went to “winter camp” every year at Sun River Resort, Oregon in January. There was no camping involved, which was why we all loved it.

One day we went sledding.  A couple of us decided to go sledding off the backside of the valley we had been sledding into.  The problem with this idea was that the backside of the hills was full of trees.  Sledding is not always the most predictable sport. I don’t remember who was all there except for one friend, name Michael Douglas (not the actor).  I knew Michael’s brother, Andy, better – Michael was younger and not in the group I regularly hung out with.

So here we were, wanting to sled down a hill into the trees. We all agreed that it was safe, as long as the sledder fell off the sled right before hitting the logs/trees at the bottom.  Michael, being a genius, decided that he should stand at the bottom of the little hill just in case someone didn’t fall off the sled in time, he would be there to push them off.

The first person went, no problem, just jumped off the sled right before hitting the tree.  Then I went.  And in the thrill of the moment, I forgot the plan. I forgot I was suppose to fall off the sled right before ramming straight into the logs and the trees. I’m not an adrenaline junky for one reason: my brain stops thinking right when it’s suppose to kick into high gear.

But Michael was there.  And he pushed me off that speeding sled right in time.  I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t.  Maybe just a bruise or a concussion or a broken neck.  But he was there, and I like to think that he saved my life.

It’s good to remember.  It’s good to remember the times you should have died, when what turned out alright should have turned out all wrong.

I remember driving a 15 passenger van in 2000 from Dallas Fort-Worth airport to Tyler full of people.  It was late at night and I was exhausted.  I don’t remember much of that 2 hour trip.  Everyone in the van was sleeping, as was I.  God only knows how I drove us those 2 hours without killing anyone.  Seriously, an angel must have driven us home.

Another drive home from Seattle to Yakima (after being in Mexico a week) was pretty much the same story.  We were completely exhausted and falling asleep the whole way home.  My friend Starr and I should have died the way were driving.

You have a story just like me.  There were times you could have died.  A car accident that wasn’t as bad as it could have been, a mother who chose life when she could have chose abortion, a depression that was so deep but someone intervened just in time.

Do you know how many times I have accidentally left the curling iron on at home but didn’t burn down the house, how many times the house door was left unlocked (or even open) and yet nothing was disturbed, how many times I’ve eaten something off the floor and didn’t get sick, how many times I’ve been in the same room as someone with tuberculosis and didn’t catch anything, walked in an unsafe neighborhood at 2am or gone out with a stranger alone and yet nothing happened?

I’m not an advocate of stupid risks for the heck of it but really, we all could have died a long time ago just by living on this planet, just by doing our everyday routine.  It’s a miracle you are alive.

Recount the stories, recount the miracles.  Remember on those days.  Don’t you dare forget.  Don’t stop rehearsing.  God has been good to you.  He has done more than you give Him credit for.  He has a plan for your life.  He has a way that will bring full life to you.  Your gift of life is not to be taken for granted.  Things could have gone so wrong so many times.

People have a way of asking “Why God, Why would you allow that?” when things are tragic.  But honestly, no matter how bad something was, it could have been 100x worse.  What about all the drunk driving accidents God stopped?  What about all the curling irons that didn’t burn the house down?  What about all the terrorists that didn’t blow anything up because God stopped them? I have a feeling He has stopped millions of accidents, millions of deaths and because we don’t know about it, we don’t give Him credit.

Don’t forget the goodness, the faithfulness, the amazingness of a God so fully in love with you that He would come down, take on claustrophobic human flesh, live a God/human life, die by the hands of His creation and rise a God-resurrection.  He really is amazing!