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Beauty for Ashes

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me . . . to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  Isaiah 61: 1, 3 NKJV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.Fifteen minutes after I walked out of the World Trade Center, the first plane struck.

That sunny, late-summer day began like any other work day. I rode the PATH train from my home in New Jersey to the terminal inside the World Trade Center. From there, I did my usual brisk ten-minute walk to my office. As I waited for my computer to boot up, I looked at the magnificent view I had of the Twin Towers. Then, in what seemed like slow motion, I watched a great burst of flames erupt from the first tower. Suddenly, the world would never be the same.

Years later, when I first saw the Freedom Tower that is part of the new World Trade Center complex, I felt deep sadness for the lost lives and a longing for the buildings that had been there. Eventually, I experienced great hope and a sense of wonder at how God has created us to persevere even in the face of unspeakable tragedy.

In God’s hands, the destroyed things in my life have been redeemed. Out of family brokenness, the Lord drew me into a deeper relationship with Him, blessed me with wonderful new friends and sisters in Christ, led me to a great church family, and renewed my passion for His purpose for me. Along the way, He empowered me to pursue new job opportunities, buy a home, and improve my health, among other things.

If there are areas of your life you have given up on and thrown into the ash heap, God is a master at taking the broken, burned-up pieces and exchanging them for beauty. Turn them over to Him, and be open to the new people, places, and opportunities He will bring into your life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Toni Samuels

By day, Toni works in corporate communications, but by night she pursues one of her greatest passions: writing for God’s purposes and sharing the love of Jesus Christ. In her free time, Toni enjoys time with her family and friends, music, reading, traveling, and beautiful beaches.