Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Beauty for Ashes

Years ago on one of my trips to the West coast during the Christmas holidays, as a gift, my son and his sweet wife took me on an excursion up the Pacific coast. I’ll never forget the beautiful scenery. At some point as we traveled it was clearly the expanse of the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. We stopped at rest stops and admired the beautiful views. We even stopped along the way to visit the luxuriously opulent Hearst Castle and also saw the elephant seals come up on the beach to rest, it was awesome!

The other surprise of my gift was spending Christmas and several days in a beautiful rented house in walking distance to the beach, in fact you could see and hear the beach from the balcony off the main living area of the house.
It is there that I sat early one morning with Bible in hand and inwardly speaking to the Lord about my life. So many things had changed for me personally as well as my family. We, my son, his wife and I had all been through a series of losses and brokenness that felt like a never-ending avalanche of inner pain . My energy was spent on trying to understand the “whys” and “what ifs” that left me sometimes staggering under the weightiness of sorrow. We loved God and knew He loved us, but in our human frailty I admit, we hung on with a diminishing hope.

There was a stillness in those moments as I sat admiring the view of the ocean and the mountains, smelling the early morning sea breeze, with only the sound of the waves gently crashing against the large rocks on shore. Then in my peripheral vision I saw movement. When I turned my head there stood the most beautiful majestic deer, it was just a stone’s throw away. The deer held its head high and proudly walked even closer and just stood there as if in a pose to make sure that I had full view of his beauty in all its grandeur.
The moments seemed holy, so much that I was afraid to breathe less I dissipate the presence of God that I sensed and felt. I have seen many deer before, but this was different, this was true beauty that I was allowed to witness...

After a few more moments the deer darted off into a wooded area, but I still sat in awe of what I had just experienced. I believe God used those precious moments to speak to my shattered heart that even in the midst of pain and brokenness, God STILL has beauty; and if we trust Him with that pain and brokenness, He can make something beautiful out of it. Even when the ashes of our lives are so thick that we cannot see nor have the strength to search out the beauty, He will help us to gaze upon His beauty and find the strength to go on. We may not know how or when He’s going to do it, but He’s our Father and He WILL.

As we celebrate “Passover” and “Resurrection Day”, let us remember that Jesus became the sacrificial lamb to be crucified for our sins. That He did not come to just “fix” us, but to redeem us”; and He was the only one that could pay the price. His suffering and death were terrible to look upon, but out of the horrendous ashes of what satan thought he had destroyed, arose God’s beauty of His True love...His love for you and me. Isaiah chapter 61:1 reads:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives,

And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Jesus in the book of Luke chapter 4 read aloud this portion of scripture in the synagogue and then said “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
He came to do just what He said He would do...He died, He arose and He is alive...
“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 61:3

“Because he lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living Just because He lives” -Bill Gaither

-Veronica Y. Brayboy 


Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Beautiful post!

Sue @Rue-Mouffetard said...

Oh My....I'm speechless and I know you read my blog so you know I am never speechless....with tears rolling down my face I could not have read your post at a better time....facing major surgery coming up in two weeks and just having another surgery in February I FACE A VERY LONG RECOVERY TIME THAT I AM NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO BUT HAVE TO FACE THE FACT that is has to be done....It's affecting me and my family but I know I will get through it....We just found out my daughter who will be 42 in October is expecting another child. She was married for the second time in October of 2015 and never expected to have any more children. You know we have and adore our Miss B....When she called from the hospital after having a health scare to find out she was pregnant she called crying and hesitated to tell me....knowing I would probably not be thrilled at her age....of course only worried about her health....I did stop for a minute before speaking and then before I had a chance to say anything she said "Mom...guess what the baby's due date is"....."The due date is October 8th".......This baby is truly a gift from God. My birthday along with my daughters birthday is October 8th.....This baby will be a healthy baby boy....God will see to that.....thank you for your beautiful words.....Sue.

Veronica said...

Sue thank you so much for stopping by to read my post and to leave a response. I want you to know that you are and will be in my prayers as you go through surgery and recovery. Praying that you and your family will have peace during the process. Praying for every medical staff member involved will have the wisdom of God and that the surgery will be successful and the recovery swift and complete. Praying for your precious husband to be at peace also. It is wonderful news about your new grand baby that is coming on your and your daughter's birthday! You are going to have so much joy in spoiling him and of course Miss B will be the best big sister ever! You are blessed and have so very much to look forward to. Know how much you are loved by God, He knows all. He cares and is with you at all times. Thanks again for stopping by.