Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Beauty for Ashes

Isn't it funny, well I don't know if funny is the right word, maybe ironic, that we can be so quick to judge or to try and point out or find flaws in others?

I don't know about you, but if you're like me, don't bother trying to find my flaws or pointing them out. I am all too aware of them. I will happily save you the time and give you a laminated copy of all that I see on a daily basis. :) It may actually be harder on you to try and find an area that is unflawed.
I have a whole slew of flaws: pride, self consciousness, regret, being weighed down by the "what could have been's", and the "If only's." I have a difficult time with submission and respect, I am a 100% bonafide Type A+ personality, Lack of patience, I am easily overwhelmed....and the list could go on and on.

That being said isn't it exciting that God isn't looking with a critical finger at out flaws.  He is our loving father who wants the best for us and He knows our imperfections. He intricately knit us together in our mothers wombs. He wrote our owners manuals, He Knows the areas that we have the tendency to struggle and He wants us to give Him full-control of them.  So that He can Rock our Socks off and He/We can have Victory and freedom in our lives.  In doing so He wants to create something Beautiful out of our Ashes.

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.

I love that He says, for the mourners (broken ones) He wants to give them Beauty for ashes. You can't find a better term for it. Ashes are gross. If you touch them they stick to you, they are messy and hard to clean.
It is the products of something that has been destroyed by fire.
How many of us feel like there are areas of our lives that have been destroyed by fire and have left a huge mess that you can't get rid of, without the Help of your Heavenly Daddy? 
He wants to clean up our ashes and make them into something Beautiful. He wants to fill our sorrows with Praise! Make us into a Mighty Tree of Righteousness.  A Tree stands firm, unwavering, it doesn't get up and replant itself based on what the other trees are doing or what the other trees expect out of it.
He wants us to be a planting of the Lord, for His honor and Glory.  There is Nothing Else out of this life that I desire more than being Firmly planted as a testimony of my God! Wow, what a statement. How humbling is it that He desires our lives, our individual lives as something used to  reflect His Glory. Wow!

2 Corinthians 12:9 & 10
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore,
I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

With that being said, go ahead and point out my flaws and weaknesses to me. In doing so it's just something to get excited about! Knowing there's a flaw that my Heavenly Daddy wants to make beautiful is rather exciting!

However, I do say the above in jest because we must be careful because the words Christ spoke in Matthew are rather humbling to the condemners.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Be careful in your judgements and perceptions because Negativity and Gossip are Huge sins and are huge stumbling blocks to others. Gossip grows well past your original intent of a small comment. Once it is uttered from your lips there's no clean up, the damage is done.  The bible commands us to be slow to speak, slow to anger, quick to listen. James 1:19 

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