Beauty For Ashes

Beauty For Ashes

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3
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My devotions today is found in Isaiah 61:3. Although this passage of scripture brings me comfort, I wondered …

How can there be a smidgen of beauty amongst rubble? Or ashes?

How is this even possible?

How do we see beauty in the midst of suffering, hopelessness, or despair?

When I saw my baby sister lying in her small white coffin, I sure didn’t see any beauty in that.

When I noticed my mama with bruises on her body, I failed to see the beauty.

My former husband known for his strength, vigor and being sure-footed, morphed into a sloppy drunk after one drink of alcohol being miles away from anything charming.

To see my grandpa become a prisoner in his own body, his barrel-chested physic becoming sunken and scrawny was a far cry from beauty.

For my eyes to caress my grandma’s features, once so robust and plump, turning thin and frail after having lost so much weight due to illness wasn’t lovely to behold.

Watching the back of my former husband after he pulled the rug from under my feet, and left me in the dust while I choked in my sobs and called out his name wasn’t a picturesque scene.

My 29-day old granddaughter swollen from fluids in a medically induced coma after her open-heart surgery wasn’t eye-appealing to me.

Scars are not beautiful. Neither are the hidden bruises on the body or on the heart.

Death is not beautiful; the grieving of loved ones taken from you is never beautiful. Hunger is not beautiful. Loneliness is not beautiful.

Repossession isn’t quaint. Foreclosure is eons away from being delightful.

So how can there be beauty for ashes?

I believe it is found in hope. Hope against hope. Hope that the imperfect will become perfect. Hope that the pain will cease. Hope that there will be a day of reckoning. Hope that the scattered pieces will rebuild. Hope for healing and relief. Hope that the light will dawn and a new day will come. Hope that this too, shall come to pass. Hope in heaven. Hope that the best is yet to come. And most importantly, believing in the Blessed Hope that one day, we shall see our loved ones again who have crossed over.

I can yell it now from the mountain top: Thank you, Lord, for turning my life’s ugliness into a thing of beauty!

Out of sadness and hurt, will come strength and victory.



July 23, 2015 · 10:39 PM

11 responses to “Beauty For Ashes

  1. Me

    Beauty for ashes is truly a gift from God. He alone can turn our pains to joy, if only we will lean on Him, and remember that He endured the cross that we might have His gift of eternal life.

  2. Trials indeed bring you beautiful “Hope” through Him. Thank you for sharing your post! 🙂

  3. Thank you Mary, your message is Truth and like you I don’t believe we have to be Happy Clappy about suffering but we can give Thanks that Jesus is with us during the Hardships of life as we see confirmed below in the Scriptures and as you shared, He works it all out for good in our lives.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    I suffered greatly as a Child and so do the Children in my Funday School but I share with them that when I use to wake up with nightmares when I was young, I talked to Jesus and I was no longer frightened, they do the same now and they tell me He makes them feel better.

    2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

    I still don’t claim that Nightmares are good but I Thank God that He also uses my worst life experiences for good today and will continue to do so.

    Christian Love Always – Anne.

    • His grace is sufficient. His power is perfected in our weakness. He refines us as pure gold and conforms us into His image. As the song says: Through it all … I’ve learned to trust in Jesus. Happy Sunday, Anne! 🙂

      • Yes He does Mary conform us but not by afflicting us or causing us to grieve as the Scriptures below confirm, He does so by the Fruit of the Spirit, as we choose to walk in them He empowers us so we can which puts our Carnal flesh to death as we aim to be perfected in Love and we cannot do this without His empowering, in ourselves we are weak but in Jesus we are strong..

        Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

        Blessings – Anne

  4. Hope is beautiful. Lovely post! Thank you. And thanks for the song! I remember this song from Crystal Lewis! I think I got her cd somewhere! Thank you for the reminder! 🙂 Blessings!

  5. I would call all this an inconvenient truth. (I think I stole that from Al Gore.) A phoenix rises from ashes. Hope.

  6. shemhope

    Reblogged this on SHEMHOPE and commented:
    There is beauty for ashes indeed!!

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