Today’s #IKnowHim story is from Joe Ramirez, a youth pastor in Lubbock, TX. He shares an amazing story of God giving him peace during a terrifying accident and the power of God’s healing in the months afterward.
February 9, 2014, I was serving as Youth Pastor at a wonderful church in Childress, TX. I took a small group of youth to a concert and as we were heading home that night, we hit a patch of black ice just outside of Paducah. The church van slid off the road, hit a barbed wire fence and rolled five times. There were eleven of us in the van, ten youth and myself. Seven of the youth were bruised and some had several cuts, but overall they were fine. One young lady had broken her back, one young man broke his leg, I hit my head so hard that I had been scalped, and another young man broke his neck, fractured his skull, shattered his jaw, and suffered a trauma stroke. Of course, in the moments after the accident I didn’t know this. What I did know was that I was hurt and hurt bad. I knew that I had lost a lot of blood and I was bleeding terribly. I had trouble walking, seeing, hearing, and I knew that very well this might be it for me.
However, at that time a supernatural peace swept over me. My prayer wasn’t for God to save me, it wasn’t for God to miraculously heal me, it was for God to give me 15 minutes. 15 minutes, enough time for me to call 911, enough time to know that someone would be out here for these kids, enough time to know that they would be ok. I told God, “I’m ready, when you are.” As I searched for a phone I heard the most beautiful singing I had ever heard. I then realized that the singing was actually those youth, who had just been in this horrific accident. They were singing “Our God” by Chris Tomlin. For years, I always stated that I knew God and that I knew what waited for me after death, but it wasn’t until this moment that I truly understood the comfort of knowing Him. I should have fractured my skull, I should have broken my neck, and I should have bled to death, but I didn’t. I should have died in that accident and at that moment I was at peace.
As for those youth, I will tell you this, the young lady who broke her back was out of her brace in 6 weeks. The young man who broke his leg was off his crutches running around in less than a month. And the young man who suffered the worst… I was told by the EMT that he wouldn’t make it to the hospital. He did. He was in a coma and we were told he may not ever wake up. He did. We were told he would never walk again. He did. They said he would have limited range and need to use a walker for the rest of his life. In June of that same year, that young man traveled with us to our mission trip and was playing basketball, running around with the kids, throwing water balloons, playing tag and acting goofy, all without a walker.
I love sharing this story with people and at the end of it, I always ask the same thing. Do you know Him? If you were in that situation, would you be afraid of the unknown or would you know the peace that surpasses all understanding. As I end this, let me share two verses that really spoke to me during this time.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
(Proverbs 3:5 ESV)
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)