February 23, 2005
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD …
To comfort all who mourn …
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
I love the story of Thomas Edison, living in Florida during the latter years of his life, and inventing all kinds of things. But, one morning around 5:00 a.m., a fire broke out in his home, and all the things he had worked so hard on went up in flames.
After all was said and done, he stood with his son, focusing on what was left. He said, “Son, go get your mama out of here. She’ll never see anything like this again!”
Out of this failure and ashes, though out of his hands, rose the chance for Thomas and his family to start over again. The Bible says, “He gives beauty for ashes.” And it is out of the failures of life that we can rebuild.
God can rebuild anything, but it takes one who can say, “God, use me to Your glory no matter what has happened.” We have to be willing to expose the problem and not be apathetic toward the problem.
There was a sociological study done that asked people over the age of 95: What would you do it you had the chance to live your life over again? And while there were many different answers, there were really three main ones. If I had my life to live over again I would have reflected more, risked more, and done more things that would live on after I’m dead.
The problem is that so many people are brought down by the failures and ashes in life, and are unwilling to leave their comfort zone, take a risk, and step out on a limb to start anew. In reality, this makes it hard for people to do anything great for the Lord.
Step out today…even if your life has seemingly gone up in flames. Keep going for the Lord, because He promises to comfort those who are mourning and to bring beauty out of the ashes.
TRADE IN YOUR ASHES FOR BEAUTY TO THE
GLORY OF GOD.