by Peter Fleck
|Jason Caldwell reminded those gathered at the Westin Hotel in Calgary that when Jesus died on the cross, He paid “the penalty owing for all sin — past, present and future.”|
Calgary businessman Jason Caldwell credits his faith “in the God of the Holy Bible” with giving him the peace he needed following the tragic death of his 17-year-old twin sons in an after-hours accident at Canada Olympic Park in February 2016.
Speaking at the Calgary Leadership Prayer Breakfast in late October, Caldwell recounted how a number of youths at Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel let their “zest for life and adventure” get the better of them.
Meeting at a restaurant after youth group, the teenagers decided to trespass the grounds in the middle of the night and take their toboggans down the steep, icy run built for the luge and bobsled races at 1988 Winter Olympics. What they didn’t realize is that further down, the track had been barricaded and chained off.
“Those invincible, underdeveloped teenaged brains never considered or calculated the danger. None of the parents had any idea what kind of tragedy was about to take place,” Caldwell told the 600 people gathered at the Westin Hotel for the annual prayer event.
Quoting Hebrews 11.1, Caldwell said, “The Bible says that ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ In times of unspeakable sorrow and grief, in tragedies like this, faith is tested…foundations are rocked to the core.”
He then challenged those present by asking, “What foundation do you find yourself standing upon?”
“As a believer in the God of the Scriptures,” Caldwell continued, “I have tested the foundation of Jesus Christ. Followers of Jesus have access to hope that exceeds any circumstance, hope that exceeds any tragedy, hope that even exceeds death.”
In personally finding strength and direction from the Bible, Caldwell arranged for everyone in attendance to receive a copy of the 32-page Words of Comfort booklet from the Canadian Bible Society. Containing numerous Scripture passages from the Old and New Testaments, this publication which is designed to give hope to those going through tough times was distributed to evacuees of the Fort McMurray fire earlier in the year.
“Like the fine print of an insurance policy, we’re usually not interested until we have a claim,” Caldwell explained. “I can tell you this, as their dad, knowing the fine print of the Bible has become essential to our peace and our hope. And the fine print doesn’t disappoint.”
He then pointed to Romans 8:1, which states, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Driven by police cruiser to the medical examiner’s office on the morning of the accident, Caldwell said, “I never felt more powerless in my whole life than the moment that I fell to my knees between the cold, lifeless bodies of my sons.”
At that moment, Caldwell recalled all he could say was “thank God, I don’t have to worry about where my sons are…Jordan and Evan were not perfect, but they were forgiven. Their eternity is assured.”
He emphasized that knowing “we will be reunited with our sons again and that it will be in heaven…is what made it possible to get through such a tragedy.”
There was also comfort for Caldwell in discovering that God had miraculously answered prayer that fateful night.
Three sleds went down the hill with Caldwell’s sons killed on impact in the first and the third. Six other teens went to the hospital, three seriously injured.
Yet what happened to sled two is remarkable.
“My son, Jordan, was the one who gave sled two the push-off at the top,” Caldwell said. “As he did, many of the boys present heard Jordan’s voice bellowing these words, ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done…’ He was praying the Lord’s Prayer over sled number two.”
Afterwards, Caldwell explained, “The boys on sled two testified of a miraculous, unexplainable intervention that kept them from hitting the barrier and the chain that only seconds later claimed the life of the one who prayed for them. My son Jordan’s last act was praying for his friends.”
It was the boys on sled two who were able to summon the authorities and have the injured rescued.
“God is alive. Prayer works. Let’s keep praying,” Caldwell encouraged those at the prayer breakfast.