Monday, August 1, 2011

Those Are Some Very Nice Ashes:

Isaiah 61:3
To give them a crown in place of ashes, oil of joy in place of mourning, praise in place of discouragement... 

I found myself getting discouraged last week.  It was one of those weeks in which I felt overwhelmed by the suffering and sorrow around me.  Not sure if you know this, but people are hurting in some really serious ways.  Friends, family, and clients.  It was just one of those days.  I had just finished listening to stories of brokenness, pain, and sadness only to be ushered into more. 

Sometimes it seems as though all this life has to offer is pain.  The truth is, I almost gave into that discouragement. 

And then I saw God at work. 

I met a young man recently who is climbing out of some serious pain...into something beautiful.  I see God at work in His life, and I am watching Him take this pile of ashes- and turn them into something incredible. 

I witnessed an artist a few months ago, take some dirty ashes on a plain piece of paper- and within just a few moments, out of the ashes I could see the most incredible picture.  She painted the most beautiful painting I had ever seen.

I'm reminded of this painting as I witness the life of this young man.  I'm reminded of a God who takes the most horrific and twisted pile of ashes we have to offer- put them into his nail pierced hands, and begin to work.  It takes paint to create something nice, but it takes ashes to create something incredibly beautiful.  The real beauty lies in the artist's ability to create something out of nothing. 

It's true.  He can do that.  And he does it every day.  I need to remember that as I look into the pain of the people around me, and as I look into the sorrows from my own life.  For every person caught in a pit of ashes, there is the hope for something beautiful. 

Will you allow Him to begin his masterpiece?

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