August 27, 2010
Grace Notes: Heavenly Hope
I’ve just returned from escaping from the sweltering Florida summer heat in a mountain cabin. For two glorious weeks, I enjoyed hummingbirds, little brown field bunnies, chipmunks and 60-degree mornings. It was a refreshing time of prayer, communion with my Creator within the beauty of His creation, contemplation, Bible study, work on my new book, Too Blessed to Stay Stressed, and spiritual renewal.
Oh, did I mention near-death? Twice within the same hour?
I’d trekked down the mountain to run some errands. Just as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot to grab something for dinner, the sky split wide open and rain fell in buckets. I grabbed my umbrella from the backseat floorboard, tucked my purse against my chest and sprinted toward the store entrance with the umbrella angled low against the blowing rain.
As I crossed the parking lot, I heard the sickening screech of car tires and a woman standing in the doorway screamed as she pointed in my direction. Suddenly the front bumper of a car appeared beneath the canopy of my umbrella as it skidded to a stop on the wet asphalt, shiny chrome coming to rest against my left hip.
I laid my arm on the car’s hood and looked up at the ashen face of the driver, his hand flying to his forehead as he exhaled a long, relieved breath.
Dinner no longer held its appeal, and I pivoted back toward the car. I sat dripping in my car, trying to pull myself together enough to drive. Thank you Lord; You saved my life. Or at the very least, a long night at the ER.
The trip up the twisting narrow mountain road flanked by sheer drops took twice as long as usual in that horrible thunderstorm with dusk closing in. About halfway up, hail began pounding my windshield, and I slowed to 15 mph, barely able to make out the center line as visibility decreased to almost nil.
Rounding a sharp curve, I was startled to see, in a timely flash of lightning, an enormous tree falling across the road directly in front of my car. Because I was moving so slowly, I was able to brake just in time. I reversed about 10 feet and sat staring at the massive trunk and heavy limbs sprawled across the exact spot where my car would have been if I’d arrived five seconds earlier.
Five seconds. The difference between life and death.
What you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven (Col. 1:5, CEV).
If we receive God’s precious gift of salvation through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, we don’t have to fear death. It’s merely a door opening to the greatest adventure of all: Heaven!
Debora M. Coty is an inspirational speaker and author with over 80 magazine and newspaper articles and 10 books to her credit, including The Distant Shore and the recent Mom Needs Chocolate. Coty also teaches writing workshops for aspiring authors of all ages. Visit www.deboracoty.com.