Sitting in a hair salon this week, there were two other ladies looking as radioactive and alien like as I did, all with color foils in our hair. One lady said laughingly that we looked scary now, but soon would be beauties!
The thought that immediately flashed through my mind was the beauty for ashes bible verse. And then I proceeded to take a quick ‘alien like’ selfie;)
First, the beauty for ashes verse … Isaiah 61:3:
“to provide for those who grieve in Zion,
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
a mantle of praise instead of a spirit of despair ….”
Those words … beauty instead of ashes … gladness and not mourning … praise, not despair. Powerful!
Now the Selfie … ASHES!! <hiding that gray> Ohhh, the things we go through!
Speaking of the ashes <aka as those weights and burdens we carry>, where are we looking during difficult times? <or even when times are so-called ‘good’>
If we are looking all around … to the left and to the right … Satan then gladly shows and tells us everything that we are not. Smart enough, good enough, pretty enough, too thin/too heavy … you fill in the blank.
For those who are in acute injury world, grief, sickness, addiction, mental illness … Satan sets a trap in our minds saying, ‘look how good their life is versus the weight and burden that you carry.’
The Promise behind the verse in Isaiah 61:3 ‘bestowing a crown of beauty instead of ashes,’ translates to hope and joy. If we believe in God’s word, He will turn our difficult, disgusting, painful, and depressing situations into beauty … In His Perfect Timing.
How do we claim His promises?
–We must ask confidently, “… if we ask according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
—Speak God’s promises and blessings into life. Even insert your name in verses. ‘I (your name) can do all things through Christ …’ Philippians 4:13 <speak it aloud.>
Pressing Toward Joy thought of the day: Comparison is the thief of joy. Do not compare. Don’t do it. Not comparing requires purposeful actions and spiritual muscles to not fall into this dangerous trap.
Regarding beauty for ashes + my hair day … Once again I am now a ‘natural’ blonde as my gray is covered up <<beauty to ashes or ashes to beauty, who knows>> But Macy (our dog) is still sporting her sassy gray hair!
<<Me and Macy … post hair day!>>
**UPDATE** – A number of people who followed Jake’s recovery from the very beginning of our journey, especially from afar, have asked ‘how is he doing? what is he doing?’ I will share with you soon, while respecting his privacy as he is ‘pressing’ forward in life.
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