Beauty in Ashes

I’ve traded my diaper bag for a proper handbag.

I’ve gone for a little drive, and haven’t needed to lug a carseat around.

I’m using wifi in a coffee shop, drinking a pumpkin spice latte and feeling foreign.  But liking it.  Loving it even.

Fall is definitely here, in all its glory.  I love it.  The leaves – the range of colours – magnificent.  Just gorgeous.  There is a fresh dumping of snow on the mountain at the edge of my valley.  All around me is perfect inspiration for poets, artists and writers.

I was looking out of my kitchen window this morning, studying  the range of leaf colours and the thought crossed my mind that the beauty of the colours, comes out in and through the act of dying.  Through the length and breadth of the wondrous display, that is Autumn, God shows real beauty in ashes.  Yes God gives beauty for ashes.
“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 glorified.”—Isaiah 61:3.

Yes God gives beauty for ashes – but I also believe – like I see in the leaves – God gives beauty in ashes.  In the whole process of dying, leaving, moving on…..

A friend of mine had awfully sad news this week, when her Mother passed away, very unexpectedly. There was no warning, no chance to say goodbye, nothing but a huge shock.  Yet in all the sadness, all the heartache and all the emptiness that comes with death and the passing on of a loved one – still my friend has hope.  Still my friend can hold onto sorrow that is somehow made sweet.  Still my friend can quote Psalm 118:24  ‘This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it’.  And she means it.  How?  Because of the wonderful exchange that God makes possible – beauty for ashes – and beauty in ashes.

There are no words or actions to make certain tragedies better.  The process of grieving is a long and hard one – for Christians and for non-Christians, but YET, time and time again, I see God in the process. I see God in the ashes.  And I’m so grateful.

“The deeper you and I are rooted in the unfailing love of God, the less we sway when the winds of life blow harshly.” – Anon.


3 thoughts on “Beauty in Ashes

  1. love that last quote! that is amazing. i am so gonna pinch that one day – if thats okay :o)

    the handbag vs nappybag is such a thing eh – one day, you’ll need to empty that nappy bag out and ONLY have a handbag. i rejoiced and brought a new one – it was like my “graduation” :o) (though i did make sure it was big enough to pack some underpants and bottoms in case of emergency!)

    that latte sounds nice! wonder if they do them here in NZ? does it taste like coffee still?

    hugs for your friend – those unexpected goodbyes are so hard….

    blessings for all you are and all you do!

  2. Beautiful thought – “the beauty of the colours, comes out in and through the act of dying.” Makes me think of the words “until Christ be formed in me”. LIke you say, it happens often through life’s trials and problems, as we draw completely from the Lord for His strength and grace.

    Here in UK, leaves are starting to change colour and there is a nip in the air! Sad to see the summer go but looking forward to Christmas : )

    God bless you.


  3. We do need to be rooted in eternal truth and understanding. Nothing stabilizes our souls better. Whenever I go through a tough time, I’m grateful for all the truth I’ve absorbed into my life. It is strength and peace.

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