Ashes Before Beauty!

Pain, something for everyone.
Scripture likens believers to soldiers. Soldiers take orders and fulfill them, regardless of what is going on in their personal lives. The following is a great example of being a soldier of Christ Jesus.
This woman lost her husband, who was her high school sweetheart, to heart failure a little over a year ago. Now, her home was recently burned to the ground in the Carr fire. I share her response with permission.
“Ashes for thousands of years have been attributed to pain, loss, and suffering. After the death of a family member, natural disasters, or trying times, they were used to symbolize grief.
“This world can be wicked and we all go through periods of time where everything hurts. One blow after another, pain feels relentless and breaks down every part of the human heart and soul.
“As we sit with our ashes, there is a light shining towards us to release our pain. Our heavenly Father has seen all our deep sorrow and gives us hope that the mourning we feel will be gone. He will trade “beauty for ashes” when grief is replaced with pure joy (Isaiah 61:3).
“After everything I still believe there is so much good waiting in the world. I believe every day can bring joy through the deepest pain. To love hard and smile so bright it penetrates through the dense smoke.
“This life has brought so many ashes. I can’t wait to see the beauty that rises from these ashes.”
Pain is a known reality to soldiers. And yet, they must still focus on the commands of their commander. I hope you’re both challenged and encouraged by such an amazing example of someone striving to please “the one who enlisted” her despite what life brought her way.

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