Isaiah 61:3 states “… to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy 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.”
One of our volunteers shared her story of how God showed her how He turns debris into something magnificent:
“Where we live, we are able to burn our yard debris during certain times of the year. Each fall, we clean up dead and dying plants and toss them into the burn pile, having deemed each plant as having served its purpose, its season having come to an end. When we burn the pile, the fire burns extremely hot, and because of its size and intensity, it will often smolder for days. When it does eventually burn out, what remains is a large pile of ash.
This last spring a beautiful squash plant rose from the burn pile. Not a single person in our family planted it or tended it once it sprouted from the ashes. Yet this plant is the healthiest plant on the property. The seed survived the heat of the fire last fall and the freeze of winter, and the plant weathered the 80-degree, sun-filled days of this past summer. Not only did it survive all those extreme elements, but it has also bore an abundance of fruit—there are over nine squash growing on this healthy plant!
The beauty of the abundant life rising from the ash pile has captivated me. I have found my thoughts consumed with what God is saying through this plant that came to life from the ashes. It comforts me to know that God can bring beauty from ashes, and reminds me that there is great potential for seeds buried in the soil of disappointment, sorrow, and despair.
Never underestimate the potential of a seed buried deep within the ashes. The fire that seemed to be relentless was creating the perfect soil for new life. God works in mysterious ways; He is always creating and always restoring. May we look at unbelievers, unreached people groups and those “unlovable” individuals through God’s eyes. Remember: He can turn ashes into something beautiful!”