Beauty for Ashes -- By Annettee Budzban
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes." Isaiah 61:3 (KJV).

I sold my house shortly before my husband and I were married five and a half years ago. I was going to temporarily move into an apartment, so I needed to eliminate many of the things I was holding onto that were no longer necessary.  Before I knew it, I had 16 years of my pats in an old junk heap in front of my house.

Overnight someone had come and set a match to this junk heap. All that was left was a huge pile of ashes. I was devastated. At the mess it left. My husband being the loving man he is, was out there with all his might shoveling these ashes into the garbage truck. As I looked at this picture, I saw the love of God shoveling away the ashes of my old life.

Jesus wants us to take our ashes of hurt and disappointment and give us something beautiful in return. Refusing to accept Satan's lies that I could not put my past behind me, and meditating on scriptures about the new things God wanted to bring into my life, were the methods I found helpful in overcoming life's disappointments. But it took time, patience, and my willingness to let go, as the fire of the Holy Spirit burnt them up.

We can't allow Satan to keep us in the ash heap. We need to pray and ask God to release His promise to give us, "Beauty for Ashes."

Annettee Budzban