Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Beauty for Ashes

In Greek mythology, the phoenix is a bird that combusts and dies, only to be reborn from its ashes. The bird is decrepit and aged, ugly and pathetic at the end of its life cycle, but when it rises from the ashes it is vigorous, beautiful, and whole. Beauty can arise from destruction. Sometimes we get so caught up in assessing the damage, that we lose sight of the splendor of rebirth and regeneration.

It is God’s natural order that new life springs up after the barrenness of death and decay. Spring follows winter; trees sprout new, green leaves, flowers bud and bloom, and grass once again begins to grow. God will turn your mourning into dancing and give you beauty for the ashes. Your season of decay, destruction, and desolation will give way to new life, magnificent glory, and wholeness. God won’t leave you tattered and broken in the ashes.
Keep your eyes on the One who created you from nothing. He is able to recreate you from the same nothing. Even if your friends or family have left you to rot in a desolate wasteland, God will never give up on you. He makes everything beautiful in its own time (Ecc. 3:11), and He will make you beautiful at the time He has appointed for you. Don’t give up; God’s promises are sure. You will arise from the ashes whole, beautiful, and stronger than you’ve ever been.
Isaiah 61:2-4 (NLT) He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 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 own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations.

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