Monday, October 09, 2006

Beauty for Ashes

Last spring, as part of her Breaking Free study, Beth Moore taught about how God exchanges beauty for our ashes. (See Isaiah 61:1-4) It encouraged my heart greatly to know that God would take the ashes of my hurts and make them into something beautiful.

But it hasn't been until recently that I have come to realize that my ashes might not just be the hurts that others have inflicted upon me. My ashes might very well be my own sin. The stuff that eats away at me from the inside. The stuff that, if left unaddressed, will make me waste away.

Can I praise God enough that he will give beauty even for THOSE ashes? He will redeem them, my sin, into something beautiful. If I'll let him.

More and more over these past few months, I have come to realize that redemption is God's MO. Where there is hurt, anger, or despair, He wants to redeem it. Where there is hatred, unforgiveness, or disobedience, He wants to redeem it. Where there is any sort of yuck that we humans can come up with, God wants to make something good out of it. If we'll let him.

Recently, I have had the privilege to pray for a friend who is confronting something that is potentially devastating for her family. I (and others) had been praying for her as she took an extremely painful and scary step toward healing; one that she has been putting off for a long time - while she slowly wasted away.

I have found great joy in praying for her. That joy comes from the confidence I have that God desires to redeem her life and her relationships - that he WANTS to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. I just know that's what he wants. Redemption is what he is about. She just had to let God do it.

My friend called me today, and I could hear the smile on her face. God is answering prayers in very specific ways.... and I am not surprised.

He redeems.

He gives us beauty for our ashes. I'm watching it happen.

There are not words to express how my heart wants to praise my loving God.


Blogger BooMama said...

Love this, Lori.

Love your heart...

Tue Oct 10, 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Shalee said...

What powerful and effective words you have used. The catcher for me is "If I let Him." I being a completely controlling, stubborn, stupid person, too often limit My God with what I think He can do. I really want to just give it to God - physically, emotionally, whole-heartedly - and to let Him be the God of impossible, amazing and beautiful things.

Thanks Lori for writing your heart out for us to see. It, indeed, is a beautiful heart to behold.

Tue Oct 10, 03:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

Beautiful. Even our sins. That is cause to rejoice.

Wed Oct 11, 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Brenda said...

You know this post strikes a chord a with me. My hope rests in God's desire to redeem my life and my relationships. He still works miracles!

Wed Oct 11, 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

What a WONDERFUL post!! I love Beth Moore's Bible Studies!

Sorry I've almost disappeared from the blogosphere! I have been SUPER busy, but I've gotten alot accomplished.

Good to read your blog again!


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Fri Oct 13, 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

Beauty for ashes--that's one of my favorite metaphors in all of scripture. I love Isaiah! Lovely insights once again--thanks!

Fri Mar 30, 10:06:00 PM  

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