Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beauty for Ashes

Today, I am reminded to take time to enjoy the little things... the whispers of God that speak just to me, just to you.  God knows our hearts, He hears our prayers, and He is constantly desiring to meet with us in tender, powerful ways.  Watching the sun sink behind the horizon not too long ago on this favorite stretch of road was one of those treasured moments for me.  Though it looks normal/yellow in this photo, the sun was literally neon pink - flaming with a unique beauty that cannot quite be put into words, or (apparently) captured on camera.  Believe me - I tried!  My roomies and I had piled into my car, and were on the way to town... music blasting... laughing and chatting... and generally enjoying ourselves.  Then, rounding that last corner, this sight came into view.  I stopped my car in the middle of the road, pulled out my camera, and wandered onto the shoulder to take countless photos in an attempt to capture the full experience of the view that evening.  

Standing on the shoulder... Whoa...

Mmm... God is so good!  Life is full of revelation when you make room to listen to Him.  The shoulder... I stopped to express my appreciation for God's creation (and my unique personality/creative enjoyment of it) and as I did, I wandered right into His arms: my life carried on His shoulders!  What a fun and encouraging thought.  

The reason the sun was neon pink was because that day was particularly smoky from nearby fires.  "All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose".  I am amazed to think that even the "forest fires" of my life can reveal His splendor and uniquely BLESS me, and even be beautiful to others - that they can encounter Him in the midst of my mess!  He wants us to know this truth right down to the core of who we are.  What are the challenges we face?  What are the things that smell awful and look clouded and seem like they could never bear blessings in our lives?  God is crafting those things into something beautiful... something that will uniquely speak to each one of us and bless us.

- Elaine

"To comfort those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." 
- Isaiah 61:3

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