Loss of Best Friend Prompts Questions About Salvation

“Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:20)

Eleven years ago my daughter was seriously injured in a tragic automobile accident. Two of her friends died in the accident – one, her best friend. She had six surgeries and was in the hospital for three weeks. Today, she is completely recovered although her injuries still limit what she may do, or continue to do as she ages.

I had the chance to visit with her first full day at home. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child happier to be in her own bed. Who could blame her after spending 21 days in the hospital?

Unfortunately, while she continued to improve, she was limited to no more than two hours per day in her wheel chair. I watched proudly as she showed me how she had learned to move from her bed to her wheelchair, and then I wheeled her outside under the shade of a tree where we could talk and enjoy a cool spring breeze. Interestingly, I used to take those cool spring breezes for granted, but no longer. It was the first thing she noticed when we got under that tree. “The breeze feels good,” she told me.

“Tell me,” I asked. “What have you learned over the last three weeks?”

She didn’t give my question a moment’s thought. “I’ve learned to buckle my seatbelt,” she said, “even when I’m in the backseat.”

“Dad, do you think she (her best friend) is in heaven?” I knew she would eventually ask that question. Three weeks in the hospital with eight bone fractures – She had not had much time to focus on any problems other than her own. Only now has she had the opportunity to begin to sort things out, to make some sense out of what happened? Her best friend, died at the scene. Another friend, died six days later.

“Yes,” I told her, “I think she went to heaven,” I told her. “Why do you ask?”

“I never asked her if she was saved,” she told me, as tears welled up in her eyes. “We just never talked about it.”

I explained that others in whom I have a lot of confidence believed that her best friend knew the Lord. I knew my daughter would one day ask that question and had spoken with some of her best friend’s friends, as well as some in her church family. “She’s with Jesus, and as much as you and her family miss her, I don’t think she wants to come back.”
“What about your other friends,” I asked. “Are they saved?”

“I don’t know about all of them,” she confessed. “But you can bet I’m going to ask!”

The lesson my daughter learned is a lesson to which all of us should pay close attention. Tomorrow is not promised. As Christians, our call is to tell others about Jesus, to share the good news. We don’t have to wonder whether our friends know the Lord Jesus. All we have to do is care enough to ask.

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