Beauty for Ashes (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 84)
Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)
…he will give a crown of beauty for ashes…
The fragility of life holds an important reminder for us. We may feel as though we are invincible, but living in this world can show us that we are not. Our pride doesn’t often admit it, but we are nothing more than dust and ashes. The ashes paint a clear picture of our weak and helpless human existence. If we were strong as we like to think we are, perhaps we could control the events of this world. But we aren’t.
There are times we may think we do not need the strength of God, but when life hits us like a ton of bricks and we’re left shattered and grieving, we remember that we need help. We need a Savior. We cannot live this life on our own. It is wholly impossible. When we come face to face with death, we crumble at the weight of dealing with something we cannot control.
Yet the story of Jesus reminds us that in spite of everything we will face, we are ultimately redeemed. We can go to the One who was also beaten, battered, and broken, not because of anything He did, but because of us. He chose to endure for our sakes. And because of the nail prints in His hands and feet, He has given us beauty and new life. In the midst of whatever is going on in your life, don’t let the enemy steal your focus on the One who really matters.
The beauty of the cross is brokenness. God extends to us grace so we can receive the great things He has in store for us. The fact that He is alive and well reminds us that we too can have victory in life. We don’t have to stay stuck; we don’t have to simply endure; we don’t have to struggle to no end. The joy He fills our hearts with and the abundance He lays out before us is not just enough, it is overflowing so much that we don’t have enough room to receive it all. Jesus gives us hope. May we receive His grace to live in full awareness of His promises and His power.
“We sinned for no reason but an incomprehensible lack of love, and He saved us for no reason but an incomprehensible excess of love.”
— Peter Kreeft