Sunday, March 24, 2019




GUEST BLOGGER

Today, my online writing friend, Joanna Eccles, joins my website, and I know you'll enjoy her words as much as I do. I've enjoyed the posts on her website, Words from the Honeycomb
for quite some time now, and I'm glad she's allowed me to share some of her work here. Please enjoy the writing below, and make sure to visit her website for more inspirational and thought-provoking work from her. You'll be so glad you did! 




Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash.


Glory Beyond the Ashes

To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes … that He may be glorified.  Isaiah 61:3 NKJV

God can change even the worst things into beauty.


When I visited Iceland, my tour guide drove the group by the volcano, Eyjafjallaj√∂kull, which erupted in 2010. He explained the hardships the farmers endured trying to salvage their crops, which were covered by ash. The sheep usually roamed the hills, but had to remain indoors so they wouldn’t inhale the smoke. Iceland had suffered during the economic crisis in 2008 and hadn’t recovered by 2010. The immediate repercussions seemed insurmountable.

For those who survived the initial turmoil, the volcano brought good in the long run. By blanketing the ground, the ash made it fertile. Also, the locals believe the volcano put Iceland on the map. Tourism skyrocketed.

God turned something as tragic as a volcanic eruption into something good for Iceland. Those ashes were recreated into beauty.

God does the same in our lives. Sometimes our dreams seem to go up in smoke as we struggle. We suffer loss we don’t understand. But God doesn’t waste our pain. He transforms it into something more glorious than its original state. He builds spiritual endurance in us during the dark times that He can use for His purposes in the good times. Often, no other way exists to obtain that strength other than by going through the fire.

If you have had your dreams explode and your life turned into ashes, ask God how He wants to use these times for His glory. He has plans to use the darkness as a backdrop to better display the light of His kingdom’s work.

Ask the Lord to bring beauty from the ashes of your life.

Used by permission Christian Devotions Ministries.

Bio:
Joanna Eccles founded Words from the Honeycomb (www.wordsfromthehoneycomb.com) to encourage people to grow in Christ. She desires to shape culture by addressing truths in relatable ways. Joanna has led Bible studies for fifteen years, loves traveling, and lives in Virginia.

13 comments:

  1. Such a good post. I love the line: Sometimes our dreams seem to go up in smoke as we struggle.
    O how we can relate to that. God is in the business of raising up what seems to be dead, to new life. Dreams, hopes, and of course our greatest example of Jesus Christ who battled with an unseen enemy in the depths of the cold tomb, and won the victory over sin and death.

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    1. Thank you Julie for letting me guest blog this week! What an honor!
      Jeanne Doyon - glad the blog was a blessing. I have had many dreams burn before my eyes. Fortunately, as you point out, Christ defeated death, and this world is not my forever home. One day all will be right again. God's redemptive ability will never cease to amaze me.

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  2. Jeanne, I loved several of Joanna's lines, and I love your line here: "God is in the business of raising up what seems to be dead, to new life." This time of year, as we head into the Easter season, is a time to remember just that! Thank you for joining the conversation.

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  3. Joanna, I am so blessed to have you as a guest blogger this week! Your words touched me, and I know they'll touch many of the readers, too! You have a gift, and I appreciate you sharing that gift on my site! Blessings!

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  4. Thank you for this takeaway, Joanna. God can make beautiful things out of a seemingly hopeless scenario.

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    1. Katy, I completely agree, and I think that's when God's glory especially shines....when we, as humans, think something is "hopeless," and God shows us in mighty ways what only He can do!

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    2. God is greater than our darkest days. He is so faithful.

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  5. Yes, it's amazing how God can the lowest spots in our lives to build something great.

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    1. And, don't you just love when God "shows off" that way, Kelly? He never ceases to amaze me when He can redeem something that seems so impossibly low to have anything great come out of it!!

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  6. Thank you for this. A timely post ��

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    1. Heather, I thought so, too, as we're headed into the Easter season! A wonderful reminder of our Almighty God!

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  7. What a beautiful and inspiring post, Joanna! This phrase really spoke to me, "But God doesn’t waste our pain. He transforms it into something more glorious than its original state." I know this is true, but when we're in the midst of the crisis and pain, we sometimes forget who is in charge. Thanks for blessing my day, Julie and Joanna.

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  8. You are right, Katherine, in that it is hard to remember when we are in the midst of the crisis or pain, but Joanna's words are certainly a great reminder!

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