Today I am inspired by words that our Lord speaks to us in Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)
“and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes, the oil of joy
instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
Beauty for ashes. Isn’t that so blended-family-like?
Think of the “ashes” we have in our families. From the adult perspective, maybe it’s the loss of a past marriage; the loss of our hopes and dreams about our first family and the way life was supposed to work out; the loss of a love; maybe a betrayal in our previous marriage; costly court cases; or loss of time and relationship with our children. From the child perspective, maybe it’s the loss of family as he knew it and maybe even resulting depression and anger.
And yet, when we focus on the way God wants us to selflessly love our current spouses, children and stepchildren…there can be beauty from these ashes. Sure it takes time (the average stepfamily takes 4-7 years to blend). But nevertheless, there is beauty from ashes. Who could take such an ugly, heart-breaking situation and make something beautiful from it? Only God can perform that miracle. And maybe, if we focus on the ashes so much, we miss the emerging beauty. So today I’m thankful for the beauty in our imperfect family, and appreciative that over time it gets more & more beautiful (if I pay attention).
Today I am thankful that only He can bring beauty out of the ashes.
What are you thankful for?