Beauty for Ashes

Spring, 2020

I was thinking tonight about our Father's faithfulness, as displayed in the promises of His Word... One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 61:1-3 (quoted by Jesus at the beginning of His earthly ministry, Luke 4) where God promises to heal the brokenhearted, set captives free, preach good news to poor, and my very favorite of all: 

"To give them beauty for ashes." 

Isaiah 61:3

That's good news, because we've all got some ashes - endeavors and relationships and goals that we poured our lives into, gave our best - and yet, they died. GOOD NEWS: We don't have to carry the weight of those disappointments, nor live with our eyes fixed on the rear view mirror ~ our Father offers us a trade: the beauty of His love, His grace to forgive, and a new place to start, if we will simply yield those ashes of pain and loss to Him. 

Our God knows how to make something beautiful out of something broken, how to bring new life from the very ashes of our past... Just surrender the losses to Him, forgiving the hurtful ones and even praying blessing on the betrayers ~ leaving the past with Him, we choose to follow Him into the hope He holds for our future.

I did some reading a few months back about forest fires, and specifically, about ashes. I learned that while fires can be devastating at times, they're an essential part of the life of a healthy forest. In fact, certain types of pine, spruce, and birch trees only release their seeds in times of extreme heat: their cones pop open, releasing millions of seeds on the forest floor, which are then fertilized by the very ashes created by the fire - thus guaranteeing a thriving forest for decades to come. 

SO: as you think about the ashes life has left you with in some area, remember the promises of our God in His Word, and reflected in His creation: beauty for ashes, new life in the place of loss, and song of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness. 

May His grace flow to you, and His Spirit flow through you, refreshing your faith and strengthening you in His joy like never before!

Blessings in our Beautiful Savior,

Pastor Matthew

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2020