The three young men were best friends. On a trip to Las Vegas, however, they were involved in a very serious auto accident. Matt and Cole survived, but their friend Steve did not.
The experience of losing their best buddy caused Matt and Cole to become bonded as only those do who endure tragedy together. They enjoyed riding dirt bikes together, and finally they planned the big trip—an entire weekend at an old gold mining town in the desert. Scott, a third friend, would go too.
The trip was a blast, Cole said. They were down to the final ride. Matt rode up the hill first—and disappeared out of view. As Cole crested the hill, he saw nothing but a giant hole. Frantically he and Scott began to look for Matt, but then the horror of reality set in. Matt had fallen 780 feet straight down into an abandoned, unmarked mine shaft and did not survive.
“I knew my life was going to change,” Cole said. “You cannot go through all this and end up the same person. I could feel sorry for myself, blame God, and maybe start drinking, or I could do something with my life.”
At 21 Cole made the decision to honor Steve and Matt by living a God-centered life. First, he began to share his testimony at churches and schools. Then he became a youth leader intern at church.
Cole said, “I vowed on my friends’ lives that no matter how uncomfortable it may be, if I feel the Lord calling me to do something, never again will I shrug it off and let an opportunity pass me by.” Cole can now say with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20).
I don’t know what God has for Cole’s future. But when God so clearly intervenes in a person’s life, it’s for a purpose.
 Taken from Cole Hatter’s prayer letter, 2005.
Has He been speaking to you?