To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorifiedIsaiah 61:3
Today the first day of July, I was reminded of a very important lesson. I was reminded that we always have a choice in how our story will be told and unfold no matter what. Today I was reminded how wonderful life can be especially when faced with a possible terrifying diagnosis. I was reminded that there is always beauty for ashes.
Reflections: Isaiah 61
It suddenly struck me that I was a part of the year of the Lord’s favor, and no matter what challenges may come being defeated is impossible unless we allow it into our lives. When sadness becomes joy and tears become the rain that washes away all fears and doubts, then misery will have no company. I sat briefly with six dynamic women, one of whom had gotten some life altering news concerning her health and at the end of that brief moment I was inspired to laugh and not weep to see beauty and not pain. Isaiah 61 became an anchor to keep me grounded in the beauty that can be found in the ugliness of the world and I realized how foolish we are when we choose to let our stores be derailed by a spirit of despair; when we choose not to rebuild ancient ruins and restore places long devastated. When we choose to accept that we are not limited but limitless, then we can get beauty for ashes.
Life is always unpredictable, but we do not have to see the unpredictable nature of life as a burden but as a testing of our endurance, strength and faith. We therefore need to put on the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair and heaviness; afflictions are powerless unless we give them power. If we refuse to sit in the ashes of distress then The Most High will lift us above it all to make something beautiful out of each of us and many will see this beauty and never the despair. Don’t be afraid to get burnt by life’s ugly realities, because when you get burnt, God will replace the burnt out mess with something beautiful. Our victory is assured once we know we have inherited the crown of beauty .