I have some great memories of Taunton. My wife and I spent a night there while travelling south to spend our honeymoon in Teignmouth, and we have passed it many times since while travelling down to Devon. And so I can picture the place on the M5 where last week's horrible accident took place.

I think I can understand how easily it could have happened, too, given the constant flow of traffic, a sudden lack of visibility and quite possibly the speed some drivers might have been travelling at.

I do hope this heart-breaking catastrophe will make everyone question the sanity of raising the speed limit to 80 mph - for if the law is changed, then it will effectively mean some traffic travelling nearer to 90mph!

In the meantime, we are left with the casualties; the bereaved, the severely injured and the traumatised, not least any witnesses and members of the emergency services.

Looking back, I've noticed that it's not uncommon for people who are normally disinterested in God to suddenly appreciate the value of prayer. I am glad they do, because over the years I have watched lots of them discover that God can give us the comfort and the strength we need to move on following a personal tragedy.

Take 'Betty'; her husband collapsed and died following the heart attack he suffered while repairing a church a roof. She told me that his death left her feeling completely bereft, but in her distress she had cried out to God. And to her utter amazement she became aware of His presence in the most tangible way. And, she assured me, that even though she missed him terribly, she could truthfully say she had never felt alone since that day.

King David must have had a similar encounter with God. It allowed him to pen the following familiar words: "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23).

Kata Lendel, a former member of the Yugoslav communist party, met God through tragedy too. Kata was living with her family in the picturesque town of Vukovar when the Croatian war of independence broke out in 1991. Vukovar was virtually levelled to the ground as a result of a terrible, 87-day siege.

But the shattered buildings only mirrored the experience of those who had lived there. Kata, for example, witnessed brutality on an unimaginable scale and had lost everything, including members of her own family. Indeed, she has told me that she he had been left so traumatised that she felt 'dead' inside.

But God had plans for Kata, and I had the privilege of watching them unfold following the visit she made to Pembroke in the summer of 1992. Kata was acting as the translator for a group of refugee children who were enjoying a holiday arranged by my friend John Thomas. While she was staying in his home, Kata's attention was drawn to two very different books: 'Spiritual Depression' by Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones and Billy Graham's 'Peace with God'. Kata devoured them, and just prior to her return to Croatia she was given a copy of the New Testament and Psalms. As she started to dip into what she initially thought was a 'peculiar little book', she began to discover that 'the book was reading her!'

She then had a series of dreams in which she says Jesus appeared to her. She 'adopted the habit of speaking to Him' and they soon became good friends. And they have remained good friends ever since.

Like countless others, Kata discovered the best place to be in a storm is in our (Heavenly) Father's arms. I can only pray that those who are suffering in the aftermath of the M5 tragedy will know this too.

Rob James is Pastor of Westgate Evangelical Chapel, Pembroke, and can be contacted at