To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.
I’ve always connected with this verse for many reasons–one of them very selfish–I find my name within its text. Ashes. The idea that God offers me beauty instead of ashes (myself) makes me smile. Sometimes I don’t feel so beautiful, inside or out. Tuesday morning I woke up ugly…I was mad that Finn got up before 6:00am for the third week in a row. Mad at Jersey for flapping her ears too loudly. Mad at the toast for being too dry. Mad that my son has Spina Bifida. Mad that he has to wear AFO’s and that his Tiny Tom’s don’t fit over them. Mad at my dashboard for being too frosty and mad at every car in front of me that was going too slowly. I was exhausted and couldn’t, for the life of me, find beauty in my day. Only ashes.
After a too-short lunch break, I was heading back to work to train three more clients and teach a class. Zero energy or creativity left to give. As I was pulling into the parking lot, Shawn McDonald’s Rise song rang out through my speakers. I turned it up and sang along.
Yes I will rise, out of these ashes; rise.
From this trouble I have found and this rubble on the ground; I will rise.
Cause He who is in me is greater than I will ever be, and I will rise.
I so needed this little reminder that it is HE who makes me beautiful. He sweeps the ashes from my heart and provides “festive praise” instead of the despair I so often feel inside.