Wednesday, November 2, 2011


INTIMACY WITH GOD…. Prayers of desperation and prayers of heartfelt thanksgiving…. I have vivid memories of a Friday night in August of 2005. It was after 11 PM and I was at home in Joplin, babysitting our infant grandson Bowen, who was sleeping in a back bedroom. I was trying to stay awake until my wife, Kaylene; our older daughter, Karissa; our son-in-law, Brian; and our two older grandchildren, Blakeley [7] and Kaden [5] Sites, returned from the final session of a Christ in Youth Conference in Bolivar, MO. Karissa was 5 months pregnant with their fourth grandchild at the time.

The phone rang at 11:10 PM. It was Kaylene telling me that the family had been in an accident on I-44 and would be delayed getting back. Then she relayed the details of what had happened…. She was driving. Brian was sitting in the middle of the back seat. Karissa was in the front seat on the rider’s side and the two children were strapped into their car seats by the windows in the back seat….

An 18-wheeler [semi] had passed the car behind them and then immediately pulled back into the right lane hitting our car in the left rear quarter panel. [The driver would later say he didn’t see them.] The impact turned the vehicle sideways and the semi ‘t-boned’ our car, hitting it a second time, square in the driver’s side door. [Kaylene would later say she could see the grille of the semi pushed up against her window.] The semi knocked our car across the median into the double lanes of traffic going the opposite direction on this very busy divided highway; except there was an unusual break in the traffic flow, just long enough for Kaylene to coast to a stop on the shoulder facing the oncoming traffic! Our car did not roll over. No one was injured. The state police who came to the scene could not believe it when they were told what happened. Our car actually started up again and was drivable. Apparently, the two vehicles, both driving at 70 mph, resulted in the impact being less serious. Then Kaylene revealed two amazing details…. She said that immediately, with the first impact, our son-in-law, Brian, cried out, “O God, please help us!” It was his first instinct to begin praying a prayer of desperation out loud. My wife also told me that she distinctly remembered hearing someone tell her to take her foot off the gas and release the steering wheel. She said it sounded like the voice of her father, who had been deceased for 8 months. Neither of the children, asleep in their car seats, even woke up. Brian took over the driving duties, backed up an exit ramp with the help of the police, and drove the family back home safe and sound sometime after midnight.

While I waited alone in the dark for them to return, I had some time for deep reflection and gratitude. Much of my world was in that car that night. I could have lost my wife, my firstborn daughter, my son-in-law and three grandchildren in a tragic accident. I got down on my knees beside my bed and prayed, “O Father, thank you, thank you!” My first instinct upon hanging up the phone was to cry out to God praying a prayer of thanksgiving for His mercy. That night my life could have changed dramatically. Intimacy with God is forged in such moments. Have you had such an experience in your life? I would love to hear/read about it.

Our Father…. Your Word declares that ‘your eyes are upon your people from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year.’ You never slumber or sleep. You are vigilant. You protect us from temptation that we cannot handle. You protect us from trials that we are not able to bear. If we experience something bad, You allow it for our ultimate good. You can redeem it. If we go through a hard time, You can use it to mature us and equip us to minister to someone else. We trust You Lord. We praise You because You work all things together for our good. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

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