Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Beauty for Ashes

Completely random fact about me: I'm not a fan of Christian music. I love {newer} worship songs and hymns. But the actual Christian music genre? Not so much. I don't listen to Christian radio because I just can't handle the cheese factor. Be honest: Christian music can be just plain goofy. It always seems to be a decade {or two} behind the times, and it drives me crazy when artists pen Christian-sounding lyrics to secular songs.
But this decided distaste of goofy Christian songs didn't come around until I went off to college. Before then...loved it. I grew up in the height of Jaci Velasquez, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Michael W. Smith. I rocked out to my brand-new DC Talk CD on my boombox {because before that, it was cassette tapes, ladies and gentlemen}. I had a group of friends that sang Point of Grace songs at every opportunity {sometimes in public. on purpose}, and we often fought over who got which harmony parts. Oh, the 90s  :)
This morning I woke up with a song in my head, and it was instantly a flashback to my childhood. It made me smile because of how dated the song sounds {that last bridge is like a semi-rap...hilarious}, but the words are what have been on my heart this morning.
Beauty for Ashes, Crystal Lewis
He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair
When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy o'er your head
Know that tomorrow brings wholeness and healing
God knows your need, just believe what He said {chorus}
When what you've done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings wholeness and healing
God knows your need just believe what He said {chorus}
I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I've been set free
I've been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see
It's not a particularly deep song, and some of the lyrics are over-simplified {in my opinion}, but the Lord was reminding me this morning of Isaiah 61:
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." {Isaiah 61:1-3}

My Redeemer binds up my broken heart and comforts me in times of sadness. By His grace, beauty will come from the ashes, His joy will replace my weary and battered soul, and I will praise Him despite the heartache. I have come to know that this is true of my Savior. I have also come to learn that it's not always going to look like the exact answer to my prayer or the desire of my heart. But it will be far better. Sometimes here and now, but assuredly in eternity. And in the end, it will be a beautiful display of His splendor and goodness.

I needed this reminder this morning. And I'm thankful He woke me up early to remind me of it...even if it means a goofy-sounding Christian song is running through my brain today :)

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