Beauty for Ashes

by Karen Elliott

Stained Glass Heart 3Artwork (c) by Karen Elliott

During a recent time of prayer for a friend, I received a vision of a beautiful ornate stained glass heart made up of fragmented pieces of glass. I did my best to portray the vision in the accompanying piece of artwork.  As you can see, a drop of blood in the center of the stained glass brings it greater beauty.  It’s the beauty of the Cross and of the broken body and shed blood of the Lamb of God that we are saved, healed and delivered. The word I heard which includes all of His Beloved children is this:

Beloved Sons and Daughters, although it feels like your life has been fragmented, your dreams shattered and your heart broken many times, your Loving Father, will take each broken piece and with great care and tenderness, put them together to form something with more beauty, more strength, and more character than ever before. Each struggle and trial you have experienced has helped to fashion you. There is no one quite like you. YOU are HIS unique and treasured workmanship and HE delights in you greatly.

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Heb. 12:1b-3

“He will 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.” Is. 61:3

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