In reflection this week, the phrase, Beauty from Ashes comes to mind when thinking about what it looks like follow Christ. A definitive mark of God's people, is not that they will not experience trials, but that they will face them with confidence in knowing that the Lord will be with them through it.
There have periods in my life, where I have experienced pain, loneliness, and heartbreak. I could not understand how this could ever be for my 'good'.
Looking back, I can see the breaking before the blessing. I wrapped my identity in things of this world and found meaning from the acceptance of others. What happens when you do this? Your world will come crashing down, because all of these things are not lasting. It wasn't until I truly understand that my value and worth could only come from understanding the love extended to me, that I experienced true peace. I still struggle with the same things daily, but instead of believing the lie, leading me to a path of ashes, I am reminded of how God will use those struggles to encourage those around me. I am not defined by my family, house, job, or fame - I am a sinner, who struggles and is saved by grace.
Thank you Lord for using those hard times to help me to equip others, without the pain, it would be impossible to encourage or admonish those around me. Thank you for the pain Lord, to grow and mature me in ways that would of been impossible without it.
Thank you Lord for making beauty of these ashes.
Lord, help us to remember that these hard times do not define us, but instead refine us. Help us to trust in you when all we see is despair. Help us to be faithful, to cling to your truth and give us the strength to endure the hardship of this season. Lord help us to see that you will make beauty of our ashes.