Beauty For Ashes
“...to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…” - Isaiah 61:3 CSB
When you feel like your sin will define you forever, trusting that He will make beauty for ashes is difficult.
I grew up in Washington State. A few years after the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens, I saw the devastation that still remained. Ash everywhere. Fallen trees. Destruction.
Yet, there were shrubs and green leaves popping through the piles of ash. Life amid destruction.
There are people who come to Mount Saint Helens and remove ash from the area. They put it through a refining process and create hand blown ornaments full of color and beauty. If you were to see an ornament, you would not even realize the ash was in there.
That's what God wants to do for you.
Maybe you are in a situation where the pressure of poor choices has created an explosion that threatens to choke the life out of you. Perhaps remnants are still falling. Piles are still smoldering. All you can see around you is loss. And you wonder how anything good can come out of so much hurt.
BUT you trust God. You know that His word is true. His promises, secure.
He says to you, "Give me all this...leave none behind. This pain you feel right now is because you are being refined. All the impurities are being taken away, sifted out and tossed. Your world may seem to be spinning out of control, but it's just Me, holding you and guiding you through the fire. Turning your destruction into a beauty to behold."
So that sin that you think will always represent weakness and shame will instead reflect His craftsmanship. People will not even recognize your sin when they see you. Your mistakes will be refined in the fire and all that will remain of that pile of death is the beauty of His handiwork.