One of my very favorite people from history is General Stonewall Jackson. He was a brilliant strategist and a man of God. Stonewall believed that God had fixed the hour of his death, and consequently he didn’t fear it. My favorite example of this fearlessness is that one time he was sitting under a tree writing a letter and a bullet or a cannonball hit the tree several feet above his head, sending tree parts raining down on him. Stonewall looked up to see what happened, then brushed off his letter and calmly continued to write. Maybe I’m a chicken, but I would have gone to sit somewhere else.

I’ve been thinking about Stonewall’s fearlessness a lot this week. Last Sunday, my cousin and I were in a really bad car accident. Five cars were involved, and one woman was killed. A man came off the highway driving too fast and ran a red light. My cousin and I were not seriously hurt. She banged her knee and has some impressive scrapes. I am sore and have bruises in colors I didn’t know human skin could be.

The trauma counselor on the scene told me that I would probably have insomnia, nightmares, trouble eating and other various side effects from the accident.  I’m still not sure how you can have insomnia and nightmares. Maybe that’s a topic for a later time. Anyway.

I realized pretty quickly that Jesus had been watching over us Sunday. It was kind of a no brainer.  I don’t know why  things happened the way they did, but I know He was my protector that day. And with that realization came total freedom from the fear that would have been normal after an experience like this. I got right back in the car the next day, both as a passenger and a driver. I have been sleeping better since the accident that I did before it happened. Rolling over or shifting in bed requires strategic planning to avoid pain, but this too shall pass.

Tonight I made the choice to go home from the grocery store taking the same road and passing through the intersection where the accident happened. I really thought about going a different way, and I easily could have. I’m sure nobody would have blamed me. But I don’t want to give in to fear or paranoia in any form, so I went down Highland to the stop light at the intersection of the 51. I had a red light, so I looked around for a moment.  I could still see lots of glass on the cement median where my cousin’s SUV came to a screeching halt Sunday. I don’t know that I’ll ever pass through that intersection without remembering that day, but I think that making the choice to go home that way was the right thing to do. Fear can be paralyzing, and I don’t want to go there, even when I have a “good reason” to.

Stonewall probably had lots of opportunities to be afraid in battle. But he never showed fear. He absolutely trusted in God to protect him. I don’t know that I’d stand in front of a loaded cannon like Stonewall did, but I do hope to follow his example in my own life and continue to trust God to protect me in all situations.

Advertisements