Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beauty for Ashes

Do you all remember that old song sang by Crystal Lewis, "Beauty for Ashes"? (old as in popular during my junior high or high school years. yes, folks, its been at least 11 years since I sang it in Spanish on our mission trip to Argentina when I was 16. I believe that qualifies as "old".) The song comes from Isaiah 61, verse 3:

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display
of his splendor.

I've been thinking on this verse for the past few days/weeks. I've found that when I'm consumed by rief, I rarely feel that God cares for me. I realize that my feelings are fickle, (just ask E...) and not to be trusted. Just as love is a choice in our marriage (and not a feeling) such should be my love for God. Not based on feelings, but rather to choice to love God with all of my heart and soul, every day. No matter the circumstance.

Moving on, (I got off on a bit of a tangent there.) I have just really been touched by this passage. How I long for Him to give me a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (which, I am sure, you have realized I've had lately. Especially given my last few posts.) Then I read on and think about being a planting for the LORD, for the display of his splendor. I realize that this is what its all about. He will take my grief and turn it into something that will display his splendor. He will turn ashes of grief into something beautiful.

How encouraging!


T- said...

Beautiful and encouraging.

I'm praying for you.

Glenni Lorick said...

I loved that song...although it doesn't seem that old to me :-) We were missionaries in Peru when it was popular.
Your post is so uplifting. Thanks for the reminder to keep our focus only on the One who gives Beauty for Ashes!