There are few events that have the capacity to totally alter one’s worldview and really totally transform a person’s life. Things like finding a new faith, having a divine encounter, losing a loved one, marrying, narrowly missing an accident, the birth of a new child, overcoming an addiction, etc. These events have a way of really changing things.
One such event that I observed in the life of one of my favorite historical figures was the conviction, awe, and gratitude that surrounds discovering God’s sovereignty from narrowly missing a life-threatening accident.
John D. Rockefeller, the famous American business magnate, and philanthropist, narrowly missed a train accident in 1865 that would forever change his life and worldview.
Rockefeller, who was then 26 years old, had an appointment to meet with Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the wealthiest men in America at the time. He had planned to take a train to his destination, but he arrived at the station a few minutes late and missed the train. Disappointed, he decided to take a different train that would arrive at his destination later, but he did not know that the train he missed would derail, killing all of its passengers.
After hearing about the accident, Rockefeller was filled with a deep sense of gratitude and awe. He saw it as divine intervention and became convinced that God had a plan for his life. This experience had a profound impact on him, and he felt a newfound sense of purpose and responsibility to use his life for good.
Rockefeller began to focus on his work, and he became extremely successful in the oil industry, building a vast fortune. However, he never forgot the accident that he had narrowly missed, and he remained deeply committed to his faith and his convictions.
As he became wealthier, he also became more committed to philanthropy, using his resources to help others and make a positive impact on the world. He founded the Rockefeller Foundation, which has since funded countless projects to promote health, education, and scientific research.
Rockefeller’s experience of surviving the train accident gave him a new perspective on life and a deeper appreciation for the power of providence. It also inspired him to live a life of service and generosity, leaving a lasting impact on the world that is still felt today.
I don’t need to narrowly miss an accident to borrow from this sense of awe and gratitude. The fact is, my being alive today is purely an act of God’s grace. It doesn’t take long to think back and see many opportunities for my life could have ended, but God preserved me. He also preserved you. Take it as a sign, and apply that energy to what you are doing. It will succeed!