Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beauty for Ashes

Recently I've been thinking about some of my friends' stories.  Why they are who they are.  What their past looks like.  And if you ask a lot of them, a lot of them would say that their past isn't very pretty.  It's filled with bad choices, sin, and looks downright filthy a times.  I understand where they're coming from because my story doesn't seem all that pretty to me.  But when I look at my friends' stories, I see beauty.  Not because of their actions, but because I see where they are now.  I see what God has done in their lives.  I see the beauty that shines now because of their past.  I see the beauty of them reaching out to others in the same situations.  Yet, it can be hard for me to see the beauty in my own story.  And last night, as I was mulling this over in my mind, one phrase kept popping into my head, "Beauty for ashes..." I knew it was somewhere in the Bible, but it took me a minute to find it.  The phrase comes from Isaiah 61:3:

"To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his glory."

The whole chapter talks about how God takes what seems to be basically destroyed and restores it.  How he took something that reeked of hopelessness and gave it beauty. But God makes it beautiful.  And he is glorified through it all.  That's a precious promise. 

1 comment:

Emilie said...

thank you. that is all. :)