Wednesday, April 6, 2011

beauty from ashes.

while living our lives here on earth, there are countless things that can and will potentially hurt us, at times seemingly beyond repair. even from childhood, we receive wounds that remain with us until we're adults. those scars typically heal on their own given the sufficient time and grace to unfold; others unfortunately transform into ugly and detrimental habits and bitterness that could require years to properly mend. some suffer from physical ailments and disabilities that most likely do more serious damage to the soul and emotional well-being than what others can visibly observe from the outside looking in. whether it's a matter of one's sinfulness, mistakes, poor decisions, or blatantly purposeful actions, we're deeply bruised and crushed by others. this offense carried in our hearts and memories inevitably makes us do the same, thus creating an endless vicious cycle, subconsciously or even knowing fully well what we're doing. it seems nearly impossible to make it through even a day, without feeling a hint of aching in our hearts, souls, bodies or minds. what hope do we have, then? is this the way it's supposed to be? we just accept this truth, swallow our pride and suck it up? besides, (nearly) everyone goes through hardships, pain and suffering. i've found that through adversity, trials and particularly difficult and dark seasons in my life, it's almost as if i can literally feel and hear Jesus. he reveals himself in ways i would've never discovered had everything been peachy and perfect in my world. it's so true that he's close to the brokenhearted and he hears our faintest whispers, even when no one else is listening. as comforting, intimate, and reassuring as this is, it's equally surprising that he might actually use us in our weakness and through our suffering to minister to others. when i am weak, God really is strong. i confess, all along i was consumed with when i'll finally stop hurting and exactly when and how God will make up for the years the locusts have eaten. i asked how in the world will God bring restoration? i begged God to please turn these ashes into beauty and in return receive all the glory somehow. meanwhile, God's been at work all along. even in the midst of me burying my face and forgetting the power of God's grace specifically for me, there's mercy and kindness and yes, even redemption and healing. through each and every time i choose to be more like Jesus than myself, i bring glory to him. even simply through coming before him to seek his face and just being real, i know God is near: working in me, healing my heart, and transforming my mind. just as hate knows love's the the enemy also knows that Jesus is the ultimate healer of our souls and is more than enough for every offense and hurt.