It was March 11, 1999. I was 22 years old and at home with my two daughters (ages 1 and 3). It was late at night when the phone rang. My stepdad was on the other end and asked to speak to my husband. As they talked in the back of the house, I was in the front of the house watching the news.
No one should ever have to learn about their loved one dying from the television. No one.
The quick preview for the upcoming news showed traffic backed up on I-64 and a white Mazda RX-7. Traffic had been backed up for hours due to a fatality. That was my brother. His name is John Michael French. He was 30 years old and had a 5-year-old daughter waiting for him at home.
John had worked all day and was on his way home around 6 pm when it happened. He had plans that day, and the next, and the next. He had plans just like you and I have plans this week.
Life is fragile. We do not know when we will have our last breath on earth. Ecclesiastes 3 explains that there is a time for everything, including a time to be born and a time to die. Are you prepared to die?
Earlier in the week, my brother, my mother, and I were driving home from work. We were all riding together in my Jeep Cherokee. As we approached the county line, my Jeep began to slow down. My foot was on the gas, and I wasn't letting up. In fact, I was pressing harder because I wanted to keep going but the Jeep was slowing down. It was as if God had placed His hand on the front of my vehicle and held it back.
John was in the back of the Jeep and my mom was in the passenger seat. As the vehicle neared a complete stop on the interstate, I looked over and saw another vehicle slowing down beside me. We looked at each other, made eye contact, and shrugged our shoulders. We had no idea what was happening.
As the vehicles continued to slow down and even stop on the interstate, a semi-truck tire came rolling across the median and into our lanes of traffic… right in front of us! Had we been driving at full speed, we probably would have hit the tire and causing an accident. Instead, we were saved! After the tire passed us, the two vehicles and whoever was behind us resumed speed and proceeded as normal. It was truly a miraculous event. I was not in control of my vehicle. God was in control.
God gave us a miracle that day. It was Tuesday, March 9th. Two days later, God took my brother home to Heaven. I don’t know why our lives were spared on Tuesday, but I am grateful that we had a couple more days with my brother.
How about you? Are you prepared to die? Are you wasting time? Are you too busy to reach out to your loved ones?
If today was your last day on earth, what should be done? If today was the last day on earth for your loved one (brother, mother, sister, father, daughter, son, etc.), what do you need to do?
Today, I urge you to reach out to your family and friends and let them know you care. Make amends. If I had more time with my brother, I would want to talk to him, tell him I love him, hug him, and not let go.
God has plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He knows when we will be born and when we will die. He also knows the details between those two dates. I pray we can all learn from my brother’s death.
Life is short. We never know when we or if will get to talk to our loved one again. For me, it has been 24 years since I saw him or heard his voice. Please consider this with your loved ones, and take action today before it is too late.
I know I will see John again in Heaven. I know he was saved as a Christ follower. The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:13 that those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life. Therefore, one day, I will see my brother again! Until then, he is always on my mind and in my heart.
Do you have assurance that you will go to Heaven and that your loved ones will go to Heaven? If you are not sure, I want you to pray and ask God into your heart. Say this prayer out loud, right now, wherever you are.
I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness.
I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died
for my sin and that you raised Him to life.
I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord,
from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will.
I pray this in the name of Jesus.
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