A Beautiful Thing

Gwen Smith Beauty, Blog, Giving, Holy Spirit, Worship 2 Comments

I’m completely crazy about cool jewelry, so when the Lord prompted me to take off my favorite necklace and give it to the woman who had just admired it, I tried to pretend I didn’t hear Him.

“It’s mine, God!” I reasoned. “It isn’t replaceable! Why would ask me to do that?”

My self-plan didn’t like the God-plan that was laid out before me.

He was asking me to give up something that meant a lot to me. And the nudging didn’t even make sense. It seemed crazy. Unnecessary.

Reluctantly, I chose to obey even though I didn’t want too.

Moments later God softened my childish heart as the woman wept at the Lord’s blessing. Selfish thoughts faded to deep, humble joy as I watched her rejoice in God’s love for her. It was personal and she knew it. Felt it.

Blessings boomeranged right back to my heart as I thanked the Lord for allowing me to participate in His moment with her.

It was a beautiful thing.

But to be honest, sometimes I’d rather give things that don’t cost me too much.

That’s probably something only I wrestle with, right? (Kidding.) It’s hard to be open handed with things that we hold dear, isn’t it? Some of us struggle with an unwillingness to give away material things or money. Others of us hold tight to our schedules, affections, positions, jobs or our availability. Still more of us hold tightly to our children, grandchildren, spouses, friends, parents or other people in our lives that we want to keep a tight reign on.

I’ve come to learn that surrender and worship go hand in hand.

The Bible addresses this and shows us a beautiful picture of surrendered devotion in Mary of Bethany. The offering she poured out onto the feet of Jesus was worth a year’s wages. She lavished her costly perfume, her attention, her affection, her time and her worship on Jesus because she loved Him.

He was her Savior. Her Friend. Her Hope.

The Healer who had miraculously brought life back to the stench of death that had fallen on her brother Lazarus.

“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Matthew 26:6-13, NIV)

The Message paraphrase says it this way: She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. (Matthew 26:10)

When I read this story, I wonder: when God looks at my life, does He see a beautiful thing?

Does He see me do anything wonderfully significant for Him?

What do you think He sees when He looks at your life?

Does He see a beautiful thing?

When we open the hands of our lives to God’s presence and purposes, and yield to His service, rest assured He sees a beautiful thing. And blessing boomerang right back as He fills us with peace and the fullness of His joy.

Dear God,
You are worth far more praise than I could ever give. Please help me to rest in Your presence and trust in Your plan. Fill me with Your perspective until I willingly lay down my will for Yours. Lord, when You look at my life, I want You to see beautiful.
In Jesus’ name, amen.



I co-wrote a song that was inspired by this Scripture passage and I’d love to share it with you as we conclude our devotion time. CLICK HERE and allow the words of this song, Something Beautiful, to be the prayer on your heart as you listen. (Something Beautiful is on the Uncluttered CD.)


What you are holding back from God? Pray about it.

Read through Psalm 96. Read through it a second time, but pause after each verse with a personal, prayerful response to God. Write out any verses that you want to remember.

Love doing life with you!



{Listen to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith Podcast during your commute to and from work… or while you run errands, cook dinner, fold laundry, eat chips and guacamole… all the things!}


“Life Is Tough, You Are Too!”

“Godly Confidence and Freedom From Insecurity”

“Own Your Everyday”


Did you ever start a Bible Study and not finish? Yeah, me too. It’s normal and it happens to all of us. But studying the Bible is important to helps us know God more, and to equip us with His power, perspective and peace.

Don’t let the unfinished studies in your desk keep you from going after what you truly know your heart and soul needs. JOIN Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith for an inductive online Bible study that can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Her next 4-week Psalm Adventure begins on September 8, 2019.

Click here to SIGN UP for the next online Bible study.

Comments 2

  1. I don’t know whether Mary was conscious of doing something beautiful for Jesus or not. God doesn’t seem interested in our intensions and actions more than our obedience. More than likely the things that make Him the most pleased with us are those things done in secret, those faults we admit and submit to His Lordship, those offenses of others that we forgive and not judge but instead relinquish to His Lordship and free ourselves at the same time, those times we reach out to someone unlovely who He nudges us to notice and humanize by our interaction, and to speak a word of hope to them, those recurring negative thoughts we have about someone else, but we don’t spread it around to others, thus protecting them from the negativity, the times we don’t “share” some political meme than pokes fun at someone we’ve not lived in the shoes of and have not a clue the pressures they live with . I am most grateful for this story to live on because it models Mary’s devotion and obedience against convention, and in the midst of judgy others. May we have her same courage, but most of all His Spirit to obey whatever the nudge.

  2. Gwen , you did it AGAIN!! I also put myself in Mary’s position….What have I done lately that God would see as “beautiful thing”? I sat and prayed and talked with a god about it. I want to be FILLED with His presence every moment and Be beacon of Light for others to see Jesus in my ❤️ . I just sat and talked with god and asked him to show me what I can do for Him to be pleasing, wonderful and beautiful?
    . Can’t wait for #PSA4 to start in 13 days!!!!

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