Monday, November 2, 2009

beauty from ashes

"They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations."
Isaiah 61:4 (NIV)

The above photo was taken a few years back when Geoff hiked up to the rim of Mt. St. Helens with a group of friends from work. A lot has changed since it erupted back in 1980. Homes, bridges, railways, highways, trees and plants were destroyed that day.

Even more tragically, fifty-seven lives were lost. Families were left devastated.

I always find it breathtaking to see how God's promise of bringing beauty from ashes rings true, time after time.

After the volcano erupts. After the child becomes an orphan. After the fire is put out. After the loved one dies. After the dreams are crushed. After the family is left devastated. After the job is lost.

God comes through. While all of these scenarios seem like they would be the end, to God, they are just the beginning.

It's amazing what He can do when our "everything" has been destroyed. When it feels like we've hit rock bottom.

He is there. Always.

In some situations, God plants new life. In other situations, He plants new dreams. Out of the pain and suffering, hope and peace are always restored.

Lives that rise up from the ashes are more magnificent because they have been nurtured by the very hand and heart of God.

Friend, if you are in a season of heartache, you are not alone.

Life can be so incredibly difficult and the burdens too heavy to bear. Thankfully, Jesus has promised to carry our pain and burdens for us. All it takes is trust and surrender. (Always easier said that done, but the peace that results is so worth the courage and effort.)

I encourage you to keep pressing into Him. Allow Him to be your strength. Trust that even in the silence, He is doing a new thing. He will not leave you desolate and destroyed.

God will bring "a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." (Isaiah 61:3b, NIV)

New life is coming. Believe it and embrace it. You are loved.

Keep LIVING A BLESSED LIFE, one day at a time.

Thankful for God's promises,


Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

This blog and your words are so valuable.
~ Wendy

TanyaLea said...

Beautifully spoken, Amy Jo! What a great post and I absolutely LOVE that scripture! <><

Blessings and Hugs,
~ Tanya

mommy24treasures said...

amen. lovely post. Hope everyone is feeling well and strong.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for those words. For that reassurance of what I know to be true about my God. We are walking through the fire with some friends right now and it hurts. Badly. It's hard not to feel swallowed up by the fears of the unknown, the fall out of peoples un-Christlike actions, the effects this will have on our children, etc. But we trust in a mighty God, and we know He has a plan.