Beauty for Ashes

“To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
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.” Isaiah 61:2-3

If I could summarize what God has done for me in the nutshell, in one sentence, I would call myself a walking miracle. If I said it otherwise, I’d have underestimated the God I encountered in my life as an orphan, grew up in a third world country, central Africa. When I look back and try to count many ways and occasions that God was right there with me when I was terrified and alone, there are too many to number. You may think that this would be enough to ensure me that everything will be okay when I face dead ends or doubts. Not at all. Some days I feel hopeless, desperate, scared, alone. Sometime I feel like God is far away or has forgotten me. Honestly, I find it hard to rejoice when I am hurting. However, some days I feel energized and fully inspired. Life is filled with ups and downs.

In the letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, he said:  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” Phillipians 4: 4-6.

God’s ways are far better than mine, and just because some things go my way sometimes, it doesn’t make it right or the other way around. So just like God told the prophet Isaiah “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,  neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth,  so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”, Isaiah 55:8-9, I  pray that my soul learns to completely surrender and yield to God’s ways all the time. Like the king David, in Psalms 27:4, one thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.”

God, I pray that you please help me and everyone who reads this, to hear your comforting voice in the midst our hopelessness; remind us that you even know the number of hair on our heads, that our days are numbered before you. You hold our lives in your hands, Heaven is your throne, and the earth is your footstool. We trust in You, help us hear your loving voice. Amen.

12 thoughts on “Beauty for Ashes

  1. Alphonesine, I do find encouragement in your words–God is God all the time and it’s in Him that we find our strength. All praise to you Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for lifting your voice Alphonesine.

  2. Hi Alphonsine. Thank you for saying it so well. I needed this reminder this week. Last week things were going my way and I was busy making lots of plans for all I would accomplish. This week, some frustrating roadblocks have gotten in my way. God is the same all the time. Your blog reminds me to be at peace in him and not measure my well-being by my earthly circumstances.

    • You are very right Connie, I pray that God reminds you and me that He has everything under control and He knows what’s best for us at the right time. Thank you for the sweet comment. Blessings to you as you write for His glory.

  3. Wow, so well said, Alphonsine.

    We should all think like that, knowing that one great day, or even week, doesnt guarantee another. Life is indeed, filled with ups and downs. We just have to remember, and Believe, that when we’re too weak to move on, He will carry us the rest of the way.

    Thanks for your encouraging words and reminder. 🙂

    • Amen. Thank you Renee, may the Lord puts a reminder in our hearts that we cannot indeed do anything by ourselves, and may we learn to completely surrender and rely to Him. Many blessings to you friend.

  4. I sense you drawing near to the Lord even when your feelings would tell you to give up. Because of His grace, you haven’t given up…you press on because He speaks to you in HIS WORD. Your life is a witness of His Power in you! You are beautiful in His sight…and to others!

    • Thank you! Your words bring tears of joy to my heart! You are very encouraging and thank you for your time reading my blog. May the Lord bless you. I will keep you posted as God leads this journey because He is my Counselor and Guide. I am truly excited to see how He reveals Himself as I make myself available, with His help of course.

  5. Alphonsine, Dear Friend, a powerful message right from your heart and from the Spirit of the Living God. God will use it as He chooses. Shalom. Amy

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