Beauty For Ashes

Tuesday, July 27, 1999

Isaiah 61:3 – 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. (KJV)

I went through a period of my life where I wasn't sure exactly where I fit in. My parents were divorced when I was a little girl. No one could fully explain the who, why or when to me. All I knew was I didn't live with Daddy or my sisters any more. For a long time, people told me it had nothing to do with me. I now know that even though it really had nothing to do with me, it still affected my life a great deal.

I searched and searched for relief from my pain. I searched in the bottle and then I tried drugs. Still I had no relief. Yes, the alcohol and drugs numbed my pain. But when the effects wore off, I still had pain. Then finally on a cold Sunday afternoon in Germany in a small army chapel, I heard the voice of God say, "It's time". I remember looking around thinking someone had whispered in my ear. Then I heard the voice again and I knew in my heart that it was time to give my life to God. That was eleven years ago.

What happened to the pain? I gave it all to Jesus. The Bible says, "Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). He took away the deep and festering wounds of my childhood. That little lost girl is no longer; a saved and healed woman emerged out of the ashes. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). People often ask me why I praise the Lord the way I do. To put it simply: He gave me "beauty for ashes".

No matter what the situation in our lives is, there is hope. There is nothing too hard for God. He will work it out. There is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel and his name is Jesus. There is an old saying, "Jesus may not come when you want him, but he is always on time". My brothers and sisters, be encouraged and be strong. Remember all God's promises are yea and amen.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your healing hand, your love, your patience and compassion. Heal, set free and deliver all who are hurting, as only you can. Give us strength, O Lord. We love you and praise you for your mighty acts. Great is your faithfulness. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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Gloria Sanders <>
Huntsville, Alabama, USA

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