What does God do with dust and ash?

I found this wonderful Ash Wednesday meditation at the Gospel-Driven Church blog, via a link from Trevin Wax’s blog Kingdom People.  What an awesome reflection – and what an awesome hope we have in a God who can bring forth such beauty and new life from ashes!

What does God do with dust and ash?

He grows things out of them.

He covers them with purple raiments.

He lifts people out of them.

He unfairly accepts them in exchange for beauty.

He writes mysterious things in them.

He spits in them and uses the mud to give sight.

He washes them off your stinky feet.

He breathes into them and creates new life.

He descends into them, submits to their suffocation, and emerges alive and spotless.

When you return to dust, even if your body should be burnt to ashes and scattered over the four winds, he who is the Lord over the earth will be able to collect you, reconstitute you, and resurrect you into a body fit for eternity.

***

I’m reminded in reading this of Steven Curtis Chapman’s new song: “Beauty Will Rise” – written as his testimony of the hope and promise God has given his family in the aftermath of their five year-old daughter’s tragic death.  I cannot recommend this song (or the whole album) highly enough!

Beauty Will Rise

It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed until my voice was gone
and watched through the tears
as everything came crashing down

Slowly panic turns to pain
as we awake to what remains
and sift through the ashes that are left behind

But buried deep beneath all our broken dreams, we have this hope

Out of these ashes, beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
we will see with our own eyes
Out of these ashes beauty will rise
for we know joy is coming in the morning
in the morning
beauty will rise

So take another breath for now
and let the tears come washing down
if you can’t believe
I will believe for you

‘Cause I have seen
the signs of Spring, just watch and SEE

Out of these ashes, beauty will rise…

I can hear it in the distance
and it’s not too far away
it’s the music and the laughter
from a wedding and a feast
and I can almost feel the hand of God
reaching for my face to wipe the tears away
and say it’s time to make everything new
He’s making all things new

This is our hope
This is the promise
The is the hope
This is the promise

It will take our breath away
to see the beauty that’s been made out of the ashes
out of the ashes
it will take our breath away
to see the beauty that He’s made out of the ashes, out of the ashes

Out of these ashes beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
we will see it with our own eyes
Out of this darkness new light will shine
and we’ll know the joy that’s coming in the morning
in the morning, in the morning
beauty will rise

***

Isa 61:1-3 […] 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 gladness 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.

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One Response to What does God do with dust and ash?

  1. […] What does God do with dust and ash? […]

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