but then something happened
A few years ago, I was driving back to Dallas after a business trip in Los Angeles. Traffic was heavy, and a rare California rainstorm opened up. No one slows down for rain in Southern California — they aren’t used to it! As I was entering the 405 Freeway, a car stalled in front of me. I swerved to avoid it, and all of a sudden, cars were swerving and slamming on brakes everywhere. I almost made it out of the melee, but at the last second, I clipped a fender and was instantly jettisoned into the 70-mile-per-hour traffic.
Eight collisions later, I found myself partly wedged beneath a semi truck. Its rear wheels were in my trunk, my engine was sitting beside me, and not one window was left intact in my rental car. And we were still moving — the road and overpass were slick with oil and water from all those weeks without rain. Looking into the truck’s side-view mirror, I could see fear on the driver’s face as he wrestled to get control of an 18-wheeler that now had no rear brakes. I quickly realized the key reason for his fear.
At 70 miles per hour, we were headed for the side rail of the overpass. This overpass was the third one up; there were two others below in this spaghetti-like, high-speed interchange between highways.
The semi and I slammed into the curb. The truck lurched into the air, and my car catapulted like a rocket through the guardrail and down toward the two overpasses below. I could feel the front end of my car dropping in the descent, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was going to die. The only uncertainty was how — would the oncoming traffic hit me, or would it be the impact?
BUT THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED ..
In the blink of an eye, I found myself back on the overpass I had just left. I sat there for a moment, very confused. What had just happened?
I didn’t see this myself, but people who had been traveling near me and had stopped to help claim to have seen a huge hand come out of the sky, grab my car out of the air and set it back down on the overpass. In an accident that should have killed me, I ended up walking away without even a scratch. That in and of itself is an amazing miracle. But it didn’t stop there.
As I began to tell them that they, too, could have God’s hedge of protection, all those people who had seen God save my life knelt down on the freeway shoulder and asked Jesus into their hearts.
He will make it amazing
God took a flawed, frightening situation and made it something great. As you can imagine, that was an incredibly chaotic moment! It was literally spinning out of control. But somehow, in the midst of everything seemingly going wrong, God knew what He was doing. He did what He wanted to do and changed everything. He birthed calm. He birthed order. He saved my life. He created a “but-then-something-happened” moment, and the end result was glorious, in several different ways.
A.W. Tozer writes in his book The Pursuit of God: “The Word of God is quick and powerful. In the beginning He spoke to nothing, and it became something. Chaos heard it and became order; darkness heard it and became light.”
In the study of chaos and something called chaos theory, what you find is that chaos always results in a grander design coming forth. Therefore, chaos typically isn’t “chaos” per se: It is an order that is grander than we are able to recognize. In other words, as backward as it seems, chaos is one of the best things that can happen to us.
Obviously, however, this brings up some questions: “Why? Why would God allow something like that? Why would He deliberately allow things to go so wrong?”
It wasn’t as if I enjoyed the thought of imminent death that day. But God somehow made the experience worthwhile. In fact, He made it amazing.
I know that no matter what you’re going through, this is what He wants to do in your life, too. He wants to make it amazing. It may not go the way you wanted it to go (I thought I was going to get home on time). It may not look the way you thought it was supposed to look (I was expecting another long, uneventful trip home). But if you’re willing to sit back and enjoy God in the middle of the wild ride you’re on, you will see His goodness again and again and again. It will change you — and not just you but the people around you, too.
My goal in all of this is to look at what’s going on and be able to recognize that a grander design is coming — and that design will be better than anything I could have built or planned. That is the one and only way to find peace in difficult circumstances. God is in control, and therefore, this way will be better.
We have the promise of Romans 8:28: “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” God didn’t say this flippantly. He truly meant it. Take some time to think about that, to let it soak down into your soul and perhaps change your thought processes. You will see light again on the other side of hardship. That’s what His Word says.
Chaos is one of the best things that can happen to you.
God can work all things to the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Trust God today, and watch what He will do for you tomorrow.
Trust is vital to intimacy with Jesus.
He can make your circumstances amazing.
by John Paul Jackson