Discovering Hope With James W. Goll

Day 1 of 6 • This day’s reading


Beauty from Ashes

My life has not circled a cul de sac, but it seems to have steered off the primary highway and onto a trail leading to who knows where. It was a road I was unfamiliar with and one that I was not expecting. Twelve or more years were filled with winding roads and an unfair share of trauma along the way. My heart became dead. Well, at least part of it.

As a result, I decided to make lemonade out of lemons as I went on an intentional journey to discover what it would take to revive my own heart and soul. I did not pick this subject. I would never have picked it. If it had been up to me, I would have run a hundred miles in the opposite direction. But in the providence of God, I think this topic has chosen me. I now realize that God has called me to be an ambassador of hope and to call others into this resilient, bounce-back-kid lifestyle. 

God is the master artist, and he paints beautiful pictures. Some of the most beautiful and profound views we can see in this world are shaped by clouds—storm clouds in particular. The storm, however, is not the final picture God paints in the sky. At the end of the storm, there is a golden sky fitted with a rainbow of promise filling the air. He really does bring beauty out of ashes. Only God can do that!

Our mess is an opportunity for his next miracle. Remember the ugly duckling? As it matures, it becomes a beautiful swan. Remember the caterpillar crawling lowly on the ground? That is not the final state of this God-ordained creature. It becomes hungry, spins a chrysalis and develops a hiding place, goes through a meltdown, and finally emerges a beautiful butterfly capable of spreading its wings and catching the wind to soar. The Holy Spirit really does make all things new!

Tomorrow, we’ll discover four important things about ashes for us to remember.