God’s specialty is rearranging the ashes of our disappointments, despair, and dismay into something beautiful. He takes our mess and changes it into His message. The best historical illustration of this spiritual truth happened in 1988 in the Yellowstone National Monument. It was the most devastating wildfire in the history of the national park system. It burned uncontrollably for nine months—from early June through the first snow in September. In early June, flames wiped out 1.2 million acres, about 36% of the park’s more than 2 million acres. The fire was finally put out in November. As the damage was tallied, the losses financially could not be recovered. Yet God was up to something.
In the same way, all of us have experienced ashes of loss:
- Domestic Violence
God has a plan for the ashes of our losses. He will restore, rebuild, and regenerate our lives. Years after the Yellowstone wildfire wiped everything out, these plants actually increased in productivity. The “natural catastrophe” has been regenerated into a lush forest, which has come back thicker and healthier. God does the same thing for us; He takes the ashes of our losses and uses them as fertilizer to make us healthier than ever!
God can use our story for His glory, but we must trust Him to restore and rebuild in His time. God has a plan for the ashes of your losses. He will restore, rebuild, and regenerate your life. Isaiah 61:3 reminds us, “To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness 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.”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for taking our ashes and changing them into something beautiful. In Jesus’ name, amen.