Yesterday blogger Jim Denison commented on the death of actor Anton Yelchin. Yelchin “played Pavel Chekhov in the rebooted ‘Star Trek’ film series. He and his family emigrated from Russia seeking political asylum when he was just six months old. Anton began acting at the age of nine. With critical acclaim for his work in the “Star Wars” series, his future was bright.
Yesterday morning, friends became concerned when he did not show up for a band performance. They found Yelchin dead at his home. His car pinned him against a brick mailbox pillar and a security fence. According to the LAPD, ‘It appears he had exited his car and was behind it when the vehicle rolled down a steep driveway.’ He was twenty-seven years old.”
Why am I writing about this? Other than the tragic loss of life and the sorrow so many people are experiencing, it’s because the exact same thing happened to me. My mind flashed back to the summer between my junior and senior year in high school. But instead of pinning me between a pickup truck and a fence post, I only crushed my arm.
I was devastated. It was my senior year, and I was captain of the football team. I felt that everything important to me was taken away (how dramatic can a 17 year old be?)
Looking back over this, I see it quite differently.
I have thought many times how God protected me in that experience. My head or chest could have been crushed as easily as my arm.
Anton Yelchin’s tragedy makes us struggle with the sorrow of life. It also brings up the question of why bad things happen to good people.
In my case I began thinking about important things – – the things that will matter for a lifetime not simply for your senior year in high school.
As all of the tragic things unfolded in a two-week period in my life, my mother reminded me of the word of God: “God works all things together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Neither she nor I knew how God was going to bring something good out of the bad that happened to me. All I knew was that she had faith. Because she had faith, I had faith as well.
Now she and I both know how God used those events to get my attention.
All of these years later, I give thanks for God’s goodness and protection. Thanksgiving is always the correct default setting. The Bible tells us to be thankful in all things – – even when we don’t know what we have to be thankful for.