Isaiah 61:3 – 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 despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour. (NIV)
John 1:3 – Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (NIV)
How exciting! We normally never win anything, yet our name had been drawn. We beamed as we were handed a beautifully-wrapped prize. Others quickly gathered round pressing us to discover its contents. Ooohhhs and aaahhhs soon accompanied the article we proudly displayed. It was signed by a prominent local artist, and many were openly envious of our good fortune.
Later at home, we examined our new treasure. It was definitely unique: a one-of-a-kind piece crafted from a bottle, a broken bottle. The shattered glass had been sanded and polished. The pieces were strung together, along with portions of stained glass, interspersed by richly-coloured varying sizes of glass beads. The resulting effect was a combination of strength, beauty, and symmetry. Our prize was a wind chime, a refashioned work of art; its strength, beauty, and melodious song on the breeze continually reminds us of our God, the master artist.
Life is full of brokenness. Hearts, dreams, promises, limbs, and hopes all get broken, often leaving us feeling shattered, diminished, and depressed. When such lives, however, are placed in the hands of their maker, Jesus Christ — "through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made" (John 1:3) — they are refashioned by His love. Shattered lives in Christ become prizes of beauty, gladness, and praise, a glorious display of His splendour amidst a shattered and broken world.
Prayer: Lord God, how we praise You for Your restorative power in our shattered lives. Grant encouragement, hope, and strength to all those who this day look to You for transformation. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.
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