Gifts of Ash

This probably won’t be what you’re thinking, then again, maybe it will…

I was just on Melissa Taylor’s blog where Stephanie Clayton did a guest post and asked us to not only pray for Wendy Blight, but also for Melissa Taylor who is with office staff and speakers from the Proverb 31 Ministries doing mission work at the Dream Center in LA.  As I wrote my prayer, I kept thinking about ashes being a gift from God.  It seems strange to think that ashes could be in any way lovely…or useful, but take a look at Luke 16:10a:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…”

     Not sure what this has to do with ashes?  Bear with me and I’ll try to explain…

Some people have been given amazing, obvious gifts from God.  The gift of teaching, healing, compassion, hospitality, and the list can go on and on.  But what if your gift, what if what you are trusted with, is a pile of ash?  The first thing you probably want to go is go straight up to God and demand a trade in, a trade up!  What are you supposed to do with this pile of worthless ash?!  How is this loss, abuse, abandonment, betrayal, or whatever combination that has added to your pile, supposed to be part of His plan?  How is something so worthless, supposed to become something useful and beautiful?

     “Whoever can be trusted with very little…,”  God whispers quietly to each of us, “Trust in Me and You will see My glory in this ash.”

      So, you hold on to your “gift,” not understanding what His plan is…and still hoping you can trade your pile in for something more useful.  Like a child, you begin playing with the ash, doodling simple shapes; after all, what else can you do with this pile?  Perhaps God did the same thing before He formed Adam from the dust…doodled.  That’s when God comes and sits with you in your ash and shows you how to draw pictures that are more complex and beautiful.  …I wonder if He gives you a glimpse of what His Son drew in the dirt as Mary’s life hung in the balance… He puts godly men and women in your path, along with His Word, to help you understand your ash and when you are more proficient in your drawing, He calls you to do something more.

“…can also be trusted with much…”

     To do something with your ash that can only be done with Him along side you.  You are reluctant at first, not wanting to leave His side, enjoying this time with Daddy, making pretty pictures.  But you obey, you write, teach, lead, encourage others, or help another heal…Whatever it may be; it leaves you drained each time and every time.  Sharing your ash with others is exhausting, but God is faithful and fills your cup until it overflows once again; allowing you to sit quietly and rest with Him as the two of you draw together.  As you look back, your gift, your ashes become something precious to you, for they have drawn you closer to your Father like nothing else in the world has.  It is true that He has given you jewels along the way, beautiful and precious, but they are simply used to adorn the beautiful pictures created with your simple gift of ash…

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