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 despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
I have listened to Joyce Meyer preach about ‘beauty for ashes’ many times. Whenever she talked about how God can change our negative life to something beautiful for God, I used to nod and agree with her. But I have never understood the depth of it until I myself went through something bad and God turned it to something great.
Today, while praying, God showed me one of my desperate moments in life which He turned to something great and very rewarding. If He was not in control of my life, I would not have come this far. Thinking of it now, I can only say one thing; He took my ashes and gave me His crown of beauty instead. I would have been mourning the rest of my life…but He gave me the oil of gladness instead. I was so desperate and could not see God’s hand in my troubles, but He exchanged my despair with His garment of praise..Now I cannot stop singing praises to Him who has turned my life so beautiful. Now you might ask, is it really possible to give my ashes and receive His beauty?
Bible talks about many people who were greatly used by God..They were not highly educated, well spoken, talented or rich people. They were just ordinary men and women who when touched by God, who could give their limitations and shortcomings to Him and give Him the full control so that they could be used mightily for God’s purposes.Let us look at some of them.
Abraham, at his old age decided to submit the impossibilities in his body to God and as a result, not only received a promised child , but was called the Father of faith. Noah, not being a shipbuilder by profession, when submitted to the voice of God, could make a mighty ark using the techniques of heaven and save his family and all the animals and birds of this earth. Joseph, though hated by his brothers and were almost killed by them, survived all the catastrophes of life and became the Emperor of Egypt. Ruth, having lost her husband , when decided to take the extra step to take care of her mother in law, was led to her nearest redeemer, the most loving Boaz.
Esther, being an orphan was raised to the position of the Queen and could save her people from a great disaster. Peter, just a fisherman, even after denying Jesus for three times, was mightily used by God in the early church as a powerful apostle. Saul, who once persecuted the church without any mercy, when called by God, submitted His life to Jesus and was turned into an amazing apostle and great teacher named Paul. Like that the list goes on…
Next is your story, mine too. Please do not look at your current life or situation and say that “I don’t think that anything good can come from this”. IF God could change all the above people and their negative situations in life, then surely He can do the same with us.
That sickness you are going through is not to destroy you completely…it is to build you up and to make you a useful vessel for many. God can take that broken marriage of yours and make it to something beautiful like a river always overflowing with peace and joy, so that anyone who comes to you with a similar problem, will be satisfied. That barrenness of yours is not to make you feel empty and unworthy all the days of your life, but to make you whole and fulfilled when you give birth to God’s purpose.Just like a candle , though used up by the fire completely, brings light to many in darkness, you and me are going to be a blessing to many.
All that we have to do, is to give it all…Let it be ashes, let it be despair, or mourning..Give it all to our Master and receive from Him, His beauty, oil of gladness and garment of praise. Then we will be called the oaks of righteousness and we will be planted to display His splendor. Rise up and start trading your ashes for His beauty.