If you are a smoker, this word may mean something entirely different than it does to those of you who have lost a home to fire. If you are Catholic, it may make you think of the first day of lent. To many Christians ashes represents redeemed beauty.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Some things must endure fire, heat or hardship to become BEAUTIFUL, STRONG or USEFUL.
Like foliage, gold and integrity.
Isaiah prophesied that the Spirit of God wants to give us beauty for ashes. Jesus fulfilled that prophesy; but what does that mean? It would take more than a blog to tell the ways I’ve personally experienced and witnessed lives that were once destroyed, disheartened and destitute yet became BEAUTIFUL like a perennial poking through a pile of filthy dust. There are many types of circumstances that cause Confidence Conflicts and can make any one of us feel like our life is of no worth.
- sudden change
- unrealistic expectations
- unattainable aspirations
- financial crisis
- unexpected expenses
- mental and emotional challenges, illness, disabilities
- physical limitations, handicaps, imperfections
- illness, disease, infertility
- personal disposition, temperament
- fears, frustrations
I’m sure you relate to at least a few of these, they are all very much a part of our every day lives and there isn’t a lot we can do in most circumstances. But no matter how difficult the conflict in our life, God is bigger and if we let Him help us, He can use them to make us STRONG and USEFUL. This may sound trite to you, but life has handed me some lemons, and being told to make them into lemonade sounds naive to me. There was no recipe to make my daughter’s death sweet. But I have learned to give my lemons to my Lord because this is what He says:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Today’s What2Wear Wednesday is for those of you wishing you could change that which you cannot. Give your lemons to the One who can make all things beautiful. Then put on a garment of praise, trusting He will lift your spirit of heaviness and make you strong and useful, in His time.
Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with overcoming rejection, betrayal and loss–as well as her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach–is empowering women to BE and LET BE.
Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, is now available in your favorite bookstores. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com