A Prelude to Beauty


One thing I’ve been learning this year is that God always has Good Stuff planned for my future … no matter what my circumstances are saying at any given time.

He promised to make my path straight and to give me a bunch of Good Stuff instead of what the enemy wants me to settle for.

I believe Him and hope this story will encourage you in your own journey.

Last Wednesday afternoon, I ran home on my lunch break to complete a few tasks in preparation for my Christmas Vacation. Upon my arrival, I discovered a new, unexpected task: Finding a different ride to the airport. Record-breaking fires in Ventura and Los Angeles had shut down the entire Amtrak schedule.

Undaunted (mostly), I explored my options and decided a limo ride to the Hollywood Airport would be cheaper than parking my car in the longterm lot.

I headed back to the office for my last two clients of 2017 … in rush hour traffic … feeling rather pleased with my “instead.”

Traffic was slow. But at least it was moving.
Until it wasn’t.

Suddenly a BMW was sitting motionless in front of me. I hit the brakes. And nothing happened. The impact was imminent, so I whispered, “Lord, You’ve got me.”

I was in the left lane and hit the BMW hard. He hit the guy in front of him.

Not to be outdone, I somehow swerved to the right around the car I’d hit, and sideswiped the car the BMW had already hit, miraculously avoiding four more lanes of traffic on my right.

Debris flew everywhere … in slow motion.

After fully passing the second car, my little bug veered to the left and slammed into the retaining wall … in FRONT of both the cars I’d hit!


(Neither of the other drivers were injured, and they carried no passengers.)

As I had sped toward the unknown, I was confident The Lord was in charge. Although Heaven will be amazing, I’m grateful He chose to save me (a) to lavish more love on others and (b) to complete the work He created me to do.

I got a whole bunch of “insteads” that day.
  1. Peace instead of panic. I felt amazingly calm through it all. And I’ve had zero nightmares or even nervousness about riding in a car.
  2. Bruises and abrasions instead of death or disability. The CHP officer said, “I don’t have to ask if you were wearing your seat belt because I can see that you were.” I’ll spare you the pix of my long and lovely seat-belt slice from shoulder to sternum. And 5 days later, I am sporting the biggest, most colorful contusions my chest and abdomen have ever known!
  3. Road Trip instead of flight. Yes, I made it to the airport the next day. My son’s taking me shopping for a Chevy while I’m here. Oh, the possibilities!

This story illustrates, of course, how “insteads” usually vary in size, from a limo ride to life itself.

So keep your heart set on Jesus!

Because The One Who sees
the ashes of your life as a
Prelude to Beauty knows exactly
what He wants to give you instead!

Isaiah 61 declares that The Messiah would come

to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes …

Yes, life often turns out differently than you plan. But trusting in The Lord will always bring the Beauty of Something Better. Starting with more of Him! ❤️

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