Beauty For Ashes
“ . . . to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.” ~Isaiah 61:3
Ashes . . . “the remains of something destroyed.”
Perhaps ashes aren’t always a bad thing. Maybe sometimes ashes are a blessing—the leftovers of something that actually needed to be destroyed. Sometimes digging up what has been buried and not burned so that it can finally be destroyed or put to rest can actually bring us back to health.
Burdens we have tried to bury . . .
Painful memories . . .
Heartbreak . . .
Failures or perceived failures . . .
Sin . . .
Christ’s mission was to liberate us from anything that would keep us from living life the way we were intended to live it.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound . . .
To comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
To give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The garment of praise instead of a faint spirit.”
The purpose of his mission was clear: we are not our own.
“That they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord,
That He may be glorified.
The world will know Christ is real when they see us living in hopeful expectation of the beauty to come, regardless of the difficulties we have faced or are even currently facing. They will know he is real when they see the evidence of his life in our own.
“They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.”
Christ’s mission was healing and restoration and we have been called to join him in that mission. We can do this by allowing him to bring healing and restoration to our own lives so that we can be his ambassadors of healing and restoration in the world.
. . . forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:13-14