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Pain. If ever there were a four letter word, pain would be it. Lately, I have been experiencing pain. While physically there is nothing wrong with me, the emotional pain is so deep that it can effect the physical body, too. There have been times that I look at my world and wonder just how it came to be this crumbled pile of chaos that it now is. In fact, there are moments when the idea hits me that life is over.

And then God speaks.

This morning was a perfect example. I was thinking of all the “what ifs” and “why me” when I opened my daily devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Immediately, this jumped off the screen at me.

God promised – “This isn’t the end. Give Me the ashes; I’ll do something with them. Something beautiful.”

Wow!! Something beautiful. It’s hard to imagine that anything beautiful can come from pain or chaos. And yet, there it was on the computer screen yelling back at me. Something beautiful! And without hesitation, I knew it was God reminding me to be the good and faithful servant. I knew he was there with me. Just as He is there with you!

Faith is often easy to have during the good times. Praising God for the beautiful weather or the food on our plates is quite easy to do. But it is during life’s storms that those praises for Him can come few and far between. And, yet, it is also during those storms that He wants us to lean on Him the most. Hebrews 11:1 says:

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we cannot see.

It would be so easy to rely on God when things were good, bad or ugly if we could see Him. But relying on Him even when He seems so very far away is the true mark of faith. I can honestly say that there have been times recently when it would have been easy to ignore my faith and just allow myself to be swallowed up by the pain in my life. I have had people tell me that it’s okay to ignore God’s Word and just do what I need to in order to take care of myself. It’s NEVER okay to ignore God’s Word. In fact, it’s often the only thing that we can consistently cling to for hope and healing. Without faith, they are just words on a page. But with faith, His Word becomes a lifeline.

This isn’t the end. Give me the ashes; I’ll do something with them. Something beautiful.

I have no idea what God is planning for me or what He will do with my “ashes”. I do, however, have faith that if I truly release them to God, they will be made into something beautiful. It doesn’t make the journey any less painful. There are still tears to be shed and hearts to be mended. I think some people believe that if you are Christian then all things in your life should be wonderful. But that simply is not true. God never promised that life would be easy. And following Him can be very difficult in today’s world. But knowing that He has a plan for me and my life…and you and your life..makes life worth living. We may not alway see His methods as fair, but His promise is real. I can’t wait to see what He makes of my ashes. It may not be how I envisioned my life, but it will be beautiful.

Dear Lord, thank you so much for, not only the sparks of life, but also the ashes. For you and you alone can make both of them beautiful. Please help me to remember to always praise you for everything and to come to you with anything. Amen